About Reijo Ilvonen
Portrait of Reijo.
Another portrait of Reijo.
Reijo (pronounced RAY-yo, roll the ‘r’) is as gruff an' salty a sailor as they come. A cunning survivalist, life is all just a grim game of kill or be killed the way he sees it. Suspect everyone, trust noone.
Enigmatic and intense, it's immediately clear to everyone on first meeting Reijo to never bet against him in a stare-down competition: piercing blue eyes penetrate right through to your very soul. A human of mixed Varisian and Ulfen heritage, his lean, muscular build stands at just under six feet in height. His well-tanned complexion is enhanced from a lifetime of considerable sun exposure.
Like most engaged in his... ahem, "trade," ...Reijo favors his fair share of rum. He's often seen smoking his precious billiard-shaped pipe. Sometimes, he can be spotted trimming his thick black goatee with one of his daggers.
Reijo keeps a relatively neat appearance. He dons a brown cotton shirt and matching pants. A dark blue vest, a striped handkerchief around his neck, looped earrings of brass, and a red sash around his waist all add an odd sort of elegance to his motley attire. He dons his handkerchief as a doo rag in the intense sun. Tall, black leather boots reach just above his knees. Hanging from his sturdy belt and buckled bandolier, his personal arsenal includes a cutlass, a boarding axe, some daggers, a hand crossbow, and a pistol. When on the move, a brown leather satchel hangs over one shoulder while a tar-coated pack rests across his back; both ostensibly contain unseen gear within.
The flames crackled in the cobblestone fireplace on a chilly autumn night. In a remote village home along the eastern shore of the Varisian isle of Peridot, shadows danced on the nearby walls, from whence he pondered the silhouette of his beautiful wife.
Me only wants a better life for 'er.
Lying upon the bearskin rug where they made love for the first time, the young woman's smiling countenance gazed downwards upon her growing belly. The child would come into the world in less than another moon's time, she thought.
Her countenance was not disturbed by the sudden and silent emergence of his dark form into the light.
Reko's deep voice always carried a sense of graveness about it, "We should go, me dear."
In Tarja's voice was the serenity of the timeless waves upon an endless shore, "But I am happy here, my love."
Reko pondered her a moment.
"If it displeases ye, then we stay. I think only of the opportunity me brother speaks of far south from 'ere. They be needin' a new keeper fer the lighthouse, and the pay be good. An honest livin', it be."
Tarja cared little for the fine things of this world. But she knew her husband's heart. If it would soothe her husband's pride to have the chance at providing for her as she was once accustomed to by her wealthy father.
She smiled from ear to ear.
"I can be happy there as well. Let us make the journey together then, once our boy has come to us, and after I am well enough to travel."
Reko beamed with pride. The tall Ulfen man dropped to one knee beside her, to cover her hand with his upon her belly.
"Women have a way of knowin' these things, me love. See, he hears us talk of 'em, feel his strong legs kick!"
Staring into his Varisian wife's watery eyes that soothed and mystified him so, joy filled his heart, his darkness but an ancient memory in that moment...
The cold waves pounded the ship from all sides. The winds howled with the fury of a great white dragon. Reko and Tarja huddled closely, their infant son held protectively in her loving arms.
By the next day, the family stood on deck, gazing at the clear blue sky. The endless ocean surrounded them. The infant boy's blue eyes mirrored his father's in both intensity and hue, as he gazed, mesmerized by the shimmering sunlight upon the gentle waves.
The albatross that followed their ship across the waters suddenly landed before them, and looked into the eyes of the infant boy.
Smiling down upon him, Tarja noted aloud what this could portend, "Besmara's blessed our son. Perhaps he will grow to be a fine sailor..."
He could stare at the night sky for an age. This new spyglass, a gift passed down from father to son for the boy's tenth birthday, was now his prized possession. Though the young boy showed little interest in reading despite his mother's patient tutelage, he could certainly stare at the stars and his father's star charts forever. He could just make out the rings of Liavara the Dreamer, the red dot of Akiton, and even the green dot of Castrovel on this clear night sky.
And little Susana loved being around her big brother. If he liked astronomy, then so did she.
But Mommy would not have much more of it tonight.
"It is time for bed, my son. You will not grow tall if you do not sleep! Nor will you, little one."
Tickles ensued, followed by the chuckling of the little girl.
"Come now, my daughter. Bed time for you as well."
Susana kissed her big brother on the cheek, for which he decried, "Yuk!" and feigned to wipe it off, which prompted only more chuckling for the little one as she and Tarja went off to the daughter's bedroom.
Young Reijo stayed up all that night watching the stars, naming the constellations, gratefully reminiscing on the fond memories he shared with his family...
The bringers of sorrow would come upon silent waters during the night. Fond childhood memories, now a distant dream he can barely recall. Cheated of his youth, anguish evermore became his truth...
They came ashore while the family slept. A motley crew, they schemed to set up a false lighthouse, to draw in ships perilously into the coral reef. Having failed at sea, the landbound pirates would loot the sinking ships from their pair of dinghies. But for the plan to work, the real lighthouse needed to be doused.
They would not catch Reijo's father off-guard. Protective, enraged, he took out two of the sea raiders with his maul before falling to a third's cutlass, his limp body tossed over the isle's cliff side.
His gentle mother, the young boy was made to watch as each man violently stabbed her. Finished, the crew's captain stabbed her now with her blade instead. As the life bled from her, her face, filled with gravest fear for her children, formed a lasting memory in the young boy's breaking mind.
The jeering sailors were not done yet. They'd have their fun tormenting the little girl next. Reijo was held, forced to watch as they drowned his little sister in the ocean. She hadn't yet learned to swim...
Bound by rope to break his will, beaten and tormented to amuse the men, kept alive to serve aboard their ship, Reijo escaped his bonds at night. He hid in the shadowy woods. Watching, waiting, he survived in the wild as his father had taught him.
He planned. He plotted. Dark thoughts of vengeance fermented for weeks in his shattered, crumbling mind.
And then, one day, his opportunity arose...
The filthy, hungry boy spotted his chance while foraging one morning. Several armed travelers trekked through the swampy woods from the north. Probably on a mission from town, they were strangers to these parts, led by a local guide.
Observing, two of the landbound pirates opened fire on the newcomers. The adventuring party bested them, however, before they could warn the rest of the crew.
The boy trailed the party from a safe distance. Observing. Watching. Waiting for the right time.
The captain and a few others fought the newcomers at their inland camp. The first mate, however, had other plans.
Dragging a burdensome sack of treasure across the sandy shore, the sneaky first mate headed for one of the dinghies. So as not to sink it, he grabbed armfuls of jewels and coins and tossed them right in. His apparent plan? Abandon the crew, jump in the dinghy, and row away with his life and a small fortune.
Now is the time...
The adventuring party returned to the shore moments later. They saw the small boy in the dinghy now. He had something small in his hand, hard to tell from this distance. Hunched, he swung repeatedly at something on the boat's floor.
As they approached, one by one they suddenly stopped dead in their tracks. Stunned expressions of horror crept onto their faces as they realized the boy was wielding a very bloody blade.
Blood saturated the treasures at the bottom of the boat. Blood covered the boy from head to toe. A gruesome mass of sliced flesh remained on the floor, bringing nausea to even the hardiest of stomachs.
He had stabbed the pirate in the back. Someone counted... forty swings...
The boy stopped as they approached. Wild rage in his eyes, it would take some time before they could calm and take the orphan into their care...
Thwarting the benevolent adventurers' plans for his care, Reijo escaped them at night. He had learned his harsh lesson the first time.
The boy wandered. Where, he did not know. He did not care. By hook or by crook, he eventually found his way to Riddleport. The next thing he remembered, he awoke in the lower deck of a strange ship with a throbbing head... the cruel irony of his fate was not lost on him.
The young boy grew into a young man. The pirate had learned to survive. He labored for what seemed every waking moment of his life, learning how to maintain a ship and sail, to fight in close quarters combat, to hunt whales and other great sea creatures, and how to navigate and survive, in the wild during hunting and foraging expeditions and also at sea...
Time passed, and his ship, it is rumored, was decimated by a powerful sea creature while navigating around the Eye of Abendengo. He was the sole known survivor...
Reijo came to a tavern in Port Peril called the Formidably Maid, searching for whatever misery fate would spite him with next. He's not sure how much rum he had, but it quickly went to his head. Reijo passed out on the table before he found his destiny... unless it lay in the bottom of a bottle.
Then again, maybe he found his destiny after all...
CN Human Sea Reaver 1 / Slayer 1
Medium humanoid (human, mixed ulfen & varisian heritage)
Init +2; Senses Perception +5
Melee cutlass +6, 1d6+3 slashing (18-20/x2)
• Dirty Fighter: May give up +2 bonus and not provoke AoO's on combat maneuvers when flanking.
Base AB +2
Flasks & Vials: -
Heart of the Sea: Reijo gains a +2 racial bonus on Profession (sailor) and Swim checks, and these are always class skills for him. He can also hold his breath for 112 rounds (eight times as long as normal: twice from this, four times as long from Marine Terror, below).
Hurricane Savvy (Ex): Reijo treats wind effects as one wind force category less than they actually are, both for any personal checks he makes and for any he makes to captain or steer a ship.
Marine Terror (Ex): Reijo can hold his breath for 112 rounds (eight times as long as normal: four times from this, twice from Heart of the Sea, above). In addition, he can move normally though squares of standing water or bog that is 1 ft. deep. It does not cost Reijo extra movement to traverse these terrains. Lastly, he ignores the normal cover bonus to AC when attacking creatures that are partially immersed in water.
Rage (Ex): Reijo can call upon inner reserves of strength and ferocity, granting him additional combat prowess. He can rage for 6 rounds per day (= Con mod + 4 + 2(Bbn lvl - 1)). Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from rage and spells like bear’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that he can rage per day. Reijo can enter rage as a free action. The total number of rounds of rage per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.
While in rage, Reijo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Strength and Constitution, as well as a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. In addition, he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase to Constitution grants Reijo 2 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points. While in rage, he cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration.
Reijo can end his rage as a free action and is fatigued after rage for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent in the rage. He cannot enter a new rage while fatigued or exhausted but can otherwise enter rage multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If Reijo falls unconscious, his rage immediately ends, placing him in peril of death.
Studied Target (Ex): Reijo can study an opponent he can see as a move action. He gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against it. The DCs of slayer class abilities against that opponent increase by 1. Reijo can only maintain these bonuses against one opponent at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or he studies a new target.
If Reijo deals sneak attack damage to a target, he can study that target as an immediate action, allowing him to apply his studied target bonuses against that target (including to the normal weapon damage roll).
Track (Ex): Reijo adds ½ his level (min. 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow tracks.
Weapon & Armor Proficiency: Reijo is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields (except tower shields). Additionally, when he uses a tool of his trades (requiring at least 1 rank in the appropriate Craft or Profession skill) as a weapon, he doesn't take the improvised weapon penalty and instead receives a +1 trait bonus on his attack roll.
• Holding 1x masterwork cutlass (a 2nd one) to pawn if nobody else wants it.
Probably going with Sea Reaver, unless Reijo finds a firearm.