About Prasitis Ysgolan
Elf Witch (Seducer, Winter Witch) / Cavalier (Sister-in-Arms) 1 (Gestalt)
Witch Spells Prepared (Enchantment patron, CL 1; concentration +5; 3/2; *= +1 to DC from Ice Magic)
1st (DC 14)- cure light wounds, icicle dagger*
Witch Spells Known:
1st-cure light wounds, frostbite, icicle dagger, ill omen, whispering lore
Hexes Charm, frozen caress
Combat gear Parade armour, armoured kilt, silken ceremonial armour, heavy wooden shield, longsword, elven thornblade, cold iron duelling dagger, shortbow, arrows (20), quarterstaff, spell component pouch, alchemist’s fire
Other gear Wooden holy symbol of Findeladlara, ink, pen, parchment (5 sheets), scroll case, potion vial, belt pouch, signet ring, sealing wax, sewing needle, soap, chalk (10), candles (10), whetstone, flint and steel, iron pot, mess kit, trail rations (5 days), waterskin, torches (10), shield sconce, hooded lantern, oil (2 pints), explorer’s outfit, bedroll, backpack, 17 gp, 7 sp, 8 cp
Ice Magic: When a winter witch casts a spell with the cold descriptor, the save DC of the spell increases by 1. A winter witch cannot learn or cast spells with the fire descriptor at all.
Cold Flesh (Ex): At 1st level, a winter witch gains endure elements as a constant spell-like ability, but only against cold temperatures. At 4th level, she gains cold resistance 5, making her comfortable in near-freezing temperatures. At 9th-level, this increases to cold resistance 10, and at 14th level, it becomes immunity to cold. This replaces the witch’s 4th-level hex.
Otherworldly Allure: A seducer’s power comes from her allure. She uses her Charisma rather than her Intelligence score for the purpose of all class features and effects related to her witch class, such as bonus spells per day, the maximum spell level she can cast, and save DCs of her spells and hexes.
Fey Charm (Su): A seducer gains the charm hex at 1st level. The save DC of this hex is increased by 1. If the target is (or could be) sexually attracted to the seducer, the save DC is instead increased by 2. This ability alters the hex gained at 1st level.
Half-hearted Challenge (Ex): Once per day, a sister-in-arms can challenge a foe to combat. As a swift action, she chooses one target within sight to challenge. Her melee attacks deal extra damage whenever the attacks are made against the target of her challenge. This extra damage is equal to half her sister-in-arms level (minimum 1). She can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.
Challenging a foe requires much of her concentration. She takes a –2 penalty to her Armor Class, except against attacks made by the target of her challenge. The challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious or until the combat ends. Her challenge also includes other effects which are listed in the section describing the sister-in-arms’ order.
Maiden’s Order (Scarlet Rose) (Ex): Edicts: A sister-in-arms of the scarlet rose must remain loyal to her allies and must always work to further the aims of the group. She must protect her allies from harm and defend their honor when called into doubt. If she violates any of these edicts, she loses the benefits from her order’s challenge ability for 24 hours.
Challenge: Whenever a sister-in-arms of the scarlet rose issues a challenge, her allies receive a +1 circumstance bonus on melee attack rolls against the target of her challenge whenever she is threatening the target. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels she possesses. In addition, she herself receives a +1 dodge bonus to her AC against attacks made by the target of her challenge. This bonus also increases by +1 for every four levels she possesses.
Skills: A sister-in-arms of the scarlet rose adds Perception, Survival, Knowledge (local), and Knowledge (nobility) to her list of class skills. She can make Knowledge (nobility) skill checks untrained. If she has ranks in the skill, she receives a bonus on the check equal to 1/2 her class level (minimum +1) as long as the check involves her sovereign. In addition, whenever she uses Survival to provide food and water for her allies or to protect her allies from harsh weather, she receives a bonus on the check equal to 1/2 her class level (minimum +1).
Tactician (Ex): At 1st level, a cavalier receives a teamwork feat for which she meets the prerequisites as a bonus feat. As a standard action, she grants this feat to all allies within 30’ who can see and hear her. Allies retain the use of this bonus feat for 3 rounds plus 1 round for every two levels the cavalier possesses. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The cavalier can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter.
CG Tiny magical beast (Raven familiar, occult messenger)
Init +2 Senses low-light vision; Perception +3
10-minute background, in character. (N.b.: Unreliable narrator, not Prasitis):
Fragmentary case notes for Lady P----- Y-----. Attending physician Dr. C-----, B----- Asylum:
… the admission of the lady in question certainly proceeded under unusual circumstances (see form attached previously, p.4), but there is no reason to doubt her identity. The poor woman will certainly pose a therapeutic challenge to all the staff, and I have found it useful to note a few details about the patient to best guide the team as to what they may expect.
[*Several pages are evidently missing from the file, and the first of the remainder is only a torn fragment of a page, the hand of Dr. C----- scrawling hurriedly in signs of embarrassment or consternation.*] … I have clearly underestimated patient PY’s influence. In all fairness (!), I am unsure if she is consciously exerting or even entirely aware of the full extent of her powers. Nonetheless, caution dictates she be moved to the secure ward, where the head nurse has been instructed as to (and how to explain to other staff as needed) the safest provision of treatment.
Summary personal history:
A daughter of members of the Mierani embassy to Korvosa, Prasitis was kidnapped, indoctrinated, and pressed into service in the Gray Maidens in the last period of Queen Ileosa’s reign, when the erratic tyrant grew desperate enough to open up her humanocentric recruiting restrictions, not least because even at the last she hardly expected that any outsider would ever see the faces of her elite guard.
With an elf’s natural resistance to enchantment, it took more magic (in combination with mundane brutality) than usual to break Prasitis in the vaults beneath the Longacre Building, and that feat, together with the location, attracted the attention of whatever force also occasionally empowered enchanters at the Acadamae, to the consternation of its conjurers. To make matters worse, she had recently peeked into a curious book an acquaintance had asked her to acquire from her father, which was far beyond Prasitis’ own capabilities at the time, but even a glance at which opened her mind and haunted her dreams thereafter, steering her onto the path of the witch.
Like many other Gray Maidens, she owes her survival in large part to the bonds that developed among the women forcibly inducted into the order, who could turn nowhere else for support or even the most fleeting glimpse of normality. That said, even that was not enough to help Prasitis cope with the guilt of what she had done as a Maiden, and even though she found some comfort among the kinder faction surviving Ileosa’s fall, she ultimately had to leave Korvosa.
Returning to Crying Leaf, where a distant (third) cousin ruled and where Prasitis had once taken refuge from plague at Korvosa, taking the opportunity to learn the rudiments of herbalism, proved no relief. As both a witch and a knight, she resolved on a penitential quest: she would travel to Kyonin to offer her sword and her spells to a worthy queen, not by elf gate or the easier route through Korvosa one last time, but skirting the north and eastern sides of the Kodar and Tusk Mountains. It was a lunatic path for an elf at the best of times, requiring a mad dash of a hundred miles between the Hold of Belkzen and the Worldwound before reaching the comparative safety of Ustalav: barbaric orcs and undead on one hand, demons and cruel fey on the other. Against all odds, Prasitis survived, at the expense of much of what remained of her sanity. As past guilt compounded new and old trauma, she grew increasingly detached from memory and reality: she no longer quite remembers if she committed herself to the Briarstone Asylum to recover a bit of composure before taking ship for the last leg to Kyonin, or if someone did it for her, but it was almost a mercy.
Physical appearance and prominent mannerisms:
Prasitis is tall even for an elf, and visibly, if lithely, muscular: her strength has clearly developed from hard exercise rather than nature’s simple generosity. That, however, is hardly the most striking thing about her appearance. Framed by a mane of hair dark as walnut or oak, Prasitis’ delicate features glow pale and cold with surprising beauty. Her grey-green eyes suggest the colour of certain leaves in late autumn light, while the just dusky rose of her mouth acquires the slightest bluish shade to its pink naturally, not from any tint. Two long scars – one descending vertically from around her left temple, brow, to cheek, another cutting sharply to the right over the bridge of her nose and beyond – meet at an acute angle at the temple without, somehow, any unfortunate effects on her features. Whatever blade made those scars must have defied the hand behind them to cross Prasitis’ face rather more like a caress.
Although not unaware of the responses her looks often provoke, and hardly above exploiting them to her advantage, Prasitis is most often unexpectedly demure. Despite a preternatural aptitude for enchantment being among her gifts, their mysterious rise and origin, her own experience of heartbreak, and her principles, ensure that she never trifles with anyone’s affections.
As might be expected of a winter witch and herbalist, her spell manifestations invariably take the form of frost and ice, flowers and thorns, or both, in colours that complement her own features.
Answers to 20 questions:
1. The emotion that best describes Prasitis is longing. As an elf and a questing knight, she is perfectly willing to play the long game in pursuing her goals, whether in magic, or adventuring, or finding a long-term partner in courtly love.
2. The one word that others most often use to describe Prasitis is breath-taking, or exhilarating. Whether that is a good thing or not depends on whether one enjoys the feeling of a bitterly cold winter’s morning air hitting one’s lungs when one has to brave the midwinter outdoors.
3. What Prasitis needs most is (self-)acceptance: knowing that she can put her past (including some things she’s done when she was not herself but that she still feels guilt over) behind her, and finding a way to believe that she is worthy of love in its various forms, that she is not merely a magical freak with a pretty face and an unexpected gift for enchantment.
4. Her goal in life is redemption/vindication. She is not strong enough in steel or spell or soul to face the afterlife just yet, not least because of what it would say about the Order of the Scarlet Rose.
5. Prasitis thinks the best way to achieve her goals, for now, is by errantry. The trials of questing to do good and finding a worthy dedicatee for her deeds will help her atone for past misdeeds as an indoctrinated knight, prove that she can be a good person, and show that she controls her magic, not the other way around.
6. Brought up amidst the Mierani embassy to Korvosa, Prasitis enjoyed the luxuries of an aristocratic childhood, but growing up as a member of a minority surrounded by a culture with radically different values and traditions fostered at least some awareness of the variety of people’s life experiences.
7. Although she started growing up shortly after it became clear that she was taking longer to find herself than either her elder sister, gifted with an aptitude for traditional wizardry, or her younger, who was called to the clergy of Yuelral, Prasitis was forced to grow up horribly quickly after Queen Ileosa’s meteoric rise and fall. In the aftermath, she had only herself and her chosen sisters among the former Gray Maidens to really understand and begin to work through what happened to her (and them).
8. As the child of an aristocratic ambassadorial family, Prasitis firmly believes that noblesse oblige. Having had to (and been able to) rely on both her blood and chosen family, she considers family and community sacred, which factors into her spiritual inclination towards Findeladlara in particular in the elven pantheon. As a curious mage, she values knowledge immensely. Conversely, she despises tyranny, callousness and cruelty, and careless ignorance.
9. Prasitis dresses almost aggressively sharply. Although she dresses relatively simply, and has fallen into a bit of a habit of wearing her light armour even when she doesn’t strictly need it, in the hopes of eventually working around its effects on her spellcraft, both her clothes and her armour show that she is used to the finer things in life. For preference, she wears her long hair loose, but when training or expecting trouble she’ll put it into a braid under her faceless Gray Maiden helm with its own crimson crest. She favours straight-laced knee-high fitted boots with a low block heel, a rounded point of a(n almond) toe, and a sole soft enough for a bit of give for flexible footing. Like all of her equipment, she keeps her boots unostentatiously neat.
10. On her personal quest, Prasitis doesn’t have access to her family’s material resources, but her family connections and her upbringing – even its more vicious components – still serve her well. Anyone with a reasonably detailed knowledge of Mierani politics would be able to figure out who she is, such as the fact that she is a cousin to the ruler of Crying Leaf, and as the daughter of a diplomat Prasitis has long appreciated the virtues of patience, consideration, tact, and all the armoury of diplomacy. After her forced training as a Gray Maiden, she has a newfound appreciation for a body’s powers, but above all, she trusts in magic to see her through, sure that it can realize the dreams of the wildest imagination.
11. Prasitis likes harp music, the colour combination of scarlet or deep reds generally and silver, especially with accents that might suggest flora, and includes among her guilty pleasures a sentimental fondness for the taste of cinnamon and sugar (a memory from bonding with other Scarlet Rose sisters over shared oliphaunt’s ears after the order was humbled and reformed). For obvious reasons, Prasitis is also particularly fond of roses. She dislikes shouting, the stale scent of dust and shut-up rooms, and the feel of anything greasy or oily (the epicurean delights of oliphaunt’s ears notwithstanding).
12. Brought up well-to-do in a culture in which arcane talent is highly valued, Prasitis is unfortunately apt to be somewhat condescending to anyone without magic, or worse, with superstitious misunderstandings of it. She is, however, also inclined to err on the side of permissiveness, as long as one accepts responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions. She strongly supports efforts at mutual aid such as guilds, unions, benevolent societies, or organizations like her own order, and takes umbrage at attempts to interfere with them.
13. Prasitis takes comfort in things that reward attention to detail and can be done quietly, alone. She enjoys meditative turns about shady groves, carefully tending to a favoured flower or herb, and could probably spend hours sharpening her sword(s).
14. Her father is probably the person who’s most shaped Prasitis’ view of the world. Although only a minor aide among the ambassador’s staff that largely forms the core of the small community of Mierani elves in Korvosa, his example of dedication to doing right by his people and all people, and his support even when his daughter reappeared after Ileosa’s fall having gone through trials he could only begin to imagine, inspire Prasitis’ imagination of what living well might look like.
15. Unexpected quirks: Prasitis makes an exception for other warrior women in her otherwise comprehensive mageocratic snobbishness about non-spellcasters. Also, despite the stereotypes about elves, she has no particular affinity for animals: her familiar Argyria is the only beast she’s ever really hit it off with, and that has more to do with how witches work than anything else. She also is very keen on having things just so: unless under immense pressure, she will always take her time to set up her tools, workspace, campsite, or whatever so everything is exactly where she wants it.
16. Prasitis belongs in one of the weirder bits of medieval romance: the castle of lady vampires in Malory, for example (No, really! I think Galahad has to deal with it, in a vaguely Fall of the House of Usher sort of way.), or the weird magic and trickery in Math ap Mathonwy. (Trigger warning: without the sexual violence, though. Yikes!) Shades of late hand-wavy receptions of romance in later writing: Keats, classic horror… She might kind of be a Camilla looking for her Cassilda in The King in Yellow. :) Also, Sarah Waters' Fingersmith or Affinity, only with swords and sorcery. Or Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell?
17. Her role in the party is knowing stuff, backing up more aggressive fighters, and eventually various magic tricks that she’ll be able to produce with her hexes. Also, freezing anything that can be frozen, and some things that ordinarily can’t. She’s OK with being second-fiddle in most cases, though she’d like to contribute when possible to “knowing stuff” business especially.
18. There’s nothing so far that other players shouldn’t know about Prasitis. Some pertinent points that could do with clearing up out-of-character: she’s queer and monosexual, so that would affect how interacts with some NPCs. (I know that sort of stuff is relevant in some APs from as early as the first Runelords, apart from also just being a part of any character.) Also, especially because and although she’s a seducer witch, I really want to avoid any weirdness. I’ll be lightly reflavouring some of her bonus spells and hexes: instead of a seducer’s kiss as written, for example, it’ll just be an overwhelming touch that isn’t intrinsically sexual as such. If at any point something is still too much, I’ll gladly tone it down for everyone’s comfort.
19. My play style favours character immersion and attention to rule detail, so I appreciate fairly colourful descriptions. That said, I try to leave things open so that the group as a whole can run with details or a scene if they like, or just move on more quickly.
20. Death is for humans and other chumps. ;) My character would prefer to plane shift to Elysium or somewhere else that reincarnation comes easily or naturally when she gets bored with the material plane. Failing that, she would prefer to die in old age, having said her goodbyes to her loved ones, though she’d probably feel awful about leaving behind a widow especially. In the worst-case scenario, she would just want to die bravely in a way that wouldn’t reflect poorly on the Order of the Scarlet Rose.