About Signifer Ignatzia Thrune
I put for a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.
Thrice Damned House Thrune has been ruling all of Cheliax ever since the end of the Civil War. Their well deserved infamy has spread all across Golarion, their infernal power both feared and envied. It is even rumored that the current queen even has a Pit Fiend as an adviser- and that he's the one who helps mitigate the cruelty of the nation's monarch, if such tales can be believed.
The reputation of house Thrune is entirely warranted, and it's political power in the world, let alone Cheliax, is undeniable. But that's not to say that every single member of that damned bloodline commands as much might and power as the queen, or that every one of them holds such prominence in the affairs of the empire of devils. Like many other noble families, house Thrune has it's major and minor branches- the significant members of the family and the less important ones.
Ignatzia Thrune was born to one such minor branch of house Thrune, in the Chelish controlled city of Khari in northern Garund, and her family is an influential group of merchants and slavers whose ties to house Thrune allowed them to prosper. While this didn't compare to the truly staggering power wielded by the more politically relevant branches of house Thrune in Egorian, the family did rather well for itself. In spite of their distance from Egorian, this branch of the Thrune family was no less cruel or manipulative than any other. Both diabolists and worshipers of Asmodeus, their conduct was no less than one would expect from that would expect from those following such dark philosophies.
Ignatzia is the youngest child of this branch of the family, and by her approximation, this makes her the very last Thrune in the line of succession for both the throne of Cheliax and her family's business. Growing up, she initially resented this fact and wondered why the mere timing of her birth ought to have any influence in what she would do when she grew older- and in the process, overlooking how incredibly luck she was to have been born into such a wealthy life to begin with. But as time went on, she began to quietly be grateful for this fact. She wasn't required or even really expected to carry on the family buisness when she grew, which left her with time on her hands to forge her own path.
Her parents were wealthy. She used that wealth and her time to learn about esoteric things, about the planes beyond the prime material and the mysteries and wonder of the sentient mind. The mystical art of psionics developed by the godless Rahadami to the south fascinated her for a long time, as did some of the stranger magic practiced in the distant Keleshite empire. Even the science of alchemy had some appeal to her, but truth be told she really only has ever really dabbled in the subject. Her family's connections made obtaining materials on these subjects trivial, and she absorbed knowledge like a sponge.
Her magical learning was encouraged- after all, it never hurt to be on good terms with a mage, even a moderately powerful one- and Ignatzia was and is still grateful to her family for the part they played in her education. In fact, her parents and siblings didn't even realize the most important thing they did for her- they served as an example of all that the dreadful power of hell was capable of- and the costs of wielding it. Her scholarly disposition already inclined her to skepticism rather than a blind sort of zealotry, and she grew up watching the Devils her family consorted with closely. It didn't take long for her to conclude that those creatures, in spite of whatever promises they gave on their honeyed lips, did not have the best interests of her family at heart. By extension, that means that they did not have her best interests at heart either.
It wasn't as if she stopped being a diabolist though- no, a sort of merciless order was needed for the good of all society. The young Thrune wasn't going to run off, abandon her heritage, and become some so called "freedom fighter" like some story from a 2 copper adventure novel. Besides- the forces of Hell can make for powerful associates, and their cruelty can be a boon for order. The powers of hell are tools- but incredibly dangerous ones that are more often than not best left unused. The price of misusing them is far too great in her eyes, and she refused to let herself be their dupe anymore.
For a time, she considered immigrating to Rahadoum to the south, having an admiration for their independence from the influence of the gods, both infernal and virtuous alike. She eventually came to the realization that they had taken it too far- the gods were the rightful superiors of mortals and worthy of respect and some measure of worship. But she would not go around like a fool acting as if Asmodeus and the Hells had the best interests of Cheliax in mind. Devils were untrustworthy, but they were a daily fact of life for her.
In her research, she finally found someone worthy of her worship- a little known goddess of hell, the wife of Dispater, Erecura. The revelation that their were in fact powers aligned with the firm order of hell that did not seem to desire the corruption mortals came as a pleasant surprise to her. And Ignatzia greatly respected that she had gone as far as to rise from a mortal to the rank of a deity. Whatever her misgivings about devils, she was still a Thrune, and still had ambitions. They just revolved around expanding her own power, rather than being reliant on (and by extension, chained to) the flames of Hell.
She was, however growing tired of manipulating her own family into procuring books for her- only so much knowledge could be obtained by secondhand accounts and the experience of others.. Some things had to be personally encountered to truly understood, and she needed an opportunity to flex her (purely metaphorical) muscles. She knew she would be unable to rise high in politics due to the timing of her birth, so she would have to sate her lust for power some other way. She was still a Thrune, even if she was slightly more scrupulous than most.
With this in mind, she convinced her family to give her leave to join the Hellknight Order of the Gate- an order of powerful magic users dedicated to using their gifts to supporting the cause of law across the globe, with access to magical libraries and scholarly tomes from all corners and ages of Golarion. While she did generally agree with the causes they supported, she mostly joined for her own benefit. The knowledge they had access to was far more vast than her family could ever provide her with.
Her time spent at Citadel Enferac changed her more than she had expected it would. Her relation, however distant, to the monarch of Cheliax was of no help to her, and it was something of a shock to have to rely completely on her own merits. Countless of hours of study went a long way in convincing her that she still had much to learn. Even still, she possessed a certain sort of arrogance- she had learned more on her own than most of the other new recruits the order received. And she was smarter than most of them too- even beyond the fact that she knew better than even the more senior members of the order who worked with devils on a regular basis, surely exposing themselves to the outsider's corruption.
Her arrogance, however, received a nearly fatal blow when she finally petitioned to take the Hellknight initiation test before her instructor considered her ready. This turned out to be a poor decision, albeit an instructive one. Ignatzia's mistake was born out of a desire for promotion to signifer and the power and prestige that would provide, along with a desire to get out from under the thumb of her direct superior- a cleric of Asmodeus who she could barely stand (which was a mutual feeling).
Her Hellknight invitation test was a humiliating and harrowing ordeal- one that she only survived by resorting to bludgeoning the bearded devil challenger over the head with a silvered mace when her psionic power had been completely depleted while defending herself and trying to break through the devil's natural defense to magic. The battle- by far the most painful, terrifying, and life threatening thing she has ever done, taught her that her own powers might not be the best solution to every problem, and those who devoted themselves to mastering the art of combat are still worthy of some respect from her. Their expertise and skill sets in some cases should be relied upon. Sure, her own expertise is more generally useful, and is much more nuanced and flexible... but if one is trying to work with nails, a hammer is the best tool for the task. Not using one would be foolish.
The exact nature of her performance in the Hellknight test isn't of any consequence to her standing in the order- slaying the devil was enough to gain the respect of the rest of the order, and the fact that she did prove that she was able to do so before her instructor deemed her ready did provide a much welcome blow to his prestige. And if anything, her resolve to personally slay the devil at close range proved that she had conquered whatever fear she might have had.
She's enjoyed full access to the libraries of citadel Enferac for the past few months, and has been enjoying the relative relaxation afforded to her- she was tasked to assist in the works of Ariotol the Listener, a psychic who leads a group of seers in scrying on various communities at a time, seeking to prevent murders from being committed. While unable to manifest the necessary powers to perform such scrying yet, she has learned a great deal under his guidance.
Then Aritol came to her private quarters one day with a letter, signed by Vicarius Giordano Torchia, the leader of the order of the gate, informing him that she had been re-assigned. Her new orders were to head to The Shackles undercover and investigate a "Rappan Athuk", a dungeon supposedly containing magical artifacts of great power. She was to have almost complete discretion in her activities.
Yes... this would be quite useful for her reputation. Who cared about the whispers that was considered to be something of a suicide mission. She'd be careful. She'd never faced a challenge that she couldn't handle before. This would not be what broke her. She would return from this victorious and more powerful than ever before.
Order of the Gate Info:
I've got the path of the Hellknight book by paizo, it has information about the Order of the gate. I've given you some of it here for your convenience:
Order of the Gate Hellknights seek to curb and prevent lawlessness through magic and manipulation. They have reputations as mysterious, emotionless, and sometimes cruel magic-users. Many are convinced that the Order of the Gate’s Hellknights are spying on them or already know their secrets. Sometimes this fear is true, as the order’s members prefer preventing crime to punishing it and often use manipulation, information-gathering, and spying to further their agenda.
Individual Order of the Gate Hellknights work to uphold the following tenets.
• Lawlessness is a failing of the leaderless and unwatched. I will mind those who would go unnoticed.
The Order of the Gate foments an intellectualist vision of law. Through surveillance, manipulating information, and coercion—magical or otherwise—the Hellknights seek to be just dictators. They see no ethical quandary in using enchantments to force individuals confess their crimes, the iniquities of their neighbors, or vices yet to be acted upon. For the order, the end of preventing chaos and strife more than justifies these intrusive means. What’s more, the order’s members believe that privacy is a concern only for those with something to hide. They are immediately suspicious of those who question their probing ways. Those who live by the law, these Hellknights believe, should have no concern about being the target of the occasional scrying or mind reading. The morality of such matters falls by the wayside, or is entirely irrelevant to the order, when countless crimes could be not just punished, but prevented. As a result, Order of the Gate Hellknights often view themselves as chosen, magic-using interrogators, solely blessed with the intellect and power to mete out the justice they believe that order demands.
Order of the Gate members are rarely encountered in urban settings unless they’re in the company of other orders. Hellknights of the Gate might be found seeking all manner of obscure relics and knowledge in ruins, centers of learning, and mysterious locations across Golarion and even on other planes.
If you need more information I can provide it. I would also like to say that while Ignatzia is a member of the Order of the Gate, there is a lot more to her personality than that membership.
Ignatzia is appears as about purely Chelaxian as they come- raven black hair, pale skin, and piercing blue eyes. Ignatzia is somewhat short, standing at around 5 feet and 5 inches tall. As she's not about to go telling everyone she's a Hellknight while she's in the Shackles (that would be a good way to get herself killed), she doesn't have a traditional Hellknight signifer uniform. She prefers to wear gray clothing suitable for traveling while keeping an enchanted chain shirt underneath them.
For a Thrune, Ignatzia is rather amicable and friendly. Ignatzia tends to great people, even strangers, with a smile that's genuine in both appearance and reality. She's more likely to strike up conversation about a new sort of tea she discovered, begin a friendly debate about theology or philosophy, or even just ask how someone is doing rather than try to rope people into some sinister scheme.
It would be foolish to mistake this kindness and civility for any indication of some greater virtue. She'll happily explain why a whole number of distasteful things are necessary for the the good of society- slavery (of a certain sort at least), the order of the rack's book burning, and diabolist philosophy. Ignatzia is willing to be nearly as ruthless as any other Thrune when she needs to be. What separates her from the other members of her family is that she has a much more stringent definition of what she considers a "need" than most Thrunes, and generally doesn't relish cruelty or suffering in others.
Generally, anyways. She doesn't mind watching those who wrong her suffer at all though.
While she's not a humble woman, Ignatzia has a less inflated sense of self importance than many other Thrunes. She still considers herself to be more valuable than other people- mind you. She just doesn't see that as any reason why she can't be pleasant and civil with them. Moreover, she doesn't hold quite as much of a sense of superiority that most magic users of the Order of the gate have, due to the events that transpired during her initiation test to become a full member of the Order of the Gate. Again- that's not to say the sense of superiority isn't there. Its just less pronounced than anything else.
Ignatzia does fear her own death- but she refuses to let that fear guide her action. Experience shows her that giving into that desire would have gotten her killed. It was only by overcoming it that she managed to survive her Hellknight test. It's only by being as fearless now that she'll survive Rappan Athuk.
That's not to say she's reckless- if anything she's a planner. She always wants to know what to expect before facing a challenge. Her ability to view far off places is her most valuable tool, one she expects to use frequently in this dungeon of Graves.
Above all else, Ignatzia does not tolerate being made a fool of. She's got no qualms deceiving other people as she sees fit, but she considers herself the smartest person in the room at any given time until proven otherwise. She's willing to accept other people are smarter than she is, and to follow and except their guidance and leadership. But Ignatzia does not take kindly to being lied to by others, and will go out of her way to sabotage those who deceive her about anything substantial.
Ignatzia values power of all sorts (see the power hungry drawback). While she does have some limits for what she'll do to obtain power, she doesn't have many and most of those limits are come from her own self preservation more than they come from any moral code. Power over others, the dead, the beings from the Great Beyond, raw explosive might, she cares not what it is. Power is power. She's mostly ambivalent about the source it springs from unless it somehow harms her. She's never questioned why she wants power, or why she should seek it out. She's been surrounded by people who would do nearly anything for power since the day she was born, and assumes that this is simply the way everyone (or at least everyone of he station) is supposed to act.
What initially appears to be a roughly fist sized piece of flint turns out to be a psicrystal upon closer inspection. By "closer inspection", I mean normal rocks don't normally talk and that tends to be a give away that their is something unusual going on here.
Ignatzia's not entirely sure why her psicrystal is flint. The things are generally more colorful than that. She's researched the subject, and has found that flint is technically a sort of crystal. Regardless, it's unusual choice of mineral doesn't seem to have any sort of effect on it's functionality.
At any rate, the thing calls itself Araquiel, and is rather boisterous and exuberant. It fancies itself as a noble hero, the companion of the brave and beautiful Ignatzia, heroically defying her family's infernal taint and supporting the cause of true order. It will travel wherever she does, and keep her safe from all harm. In combat, the thing usually rides on her shoulder and intimidates it's enemies with mixed levels of success. Can't fault the thing for it's enthusiasm though.
The thing is only quiet when directly ordered to be, and then only for the next fifteen minutes or in situations where stealth is required.
She's got no idea why her psicrystal is like this. The things are supposed to be reflections of their creator's personality. She's not anything like this. Nope. Not one bit. She totally doesn't view herself as some noble hero who's so full of herself. Not at all.
(Yes, Ignatzia is in denial about her actually seeing herself as somewhat heroic. Yes, the psycrystal is meant as comedic relief. Yes, it can speak, only common though, for now.
And yes- this basically means that Ignatzia has a sentient pet rock.)
Motivations for going to Rappan Athuk:
First of all- orders are orders. Breaking a direct order from superior is a quick way to be executed if you're a Hellknight.
More than that though, she expects to benefit greatly from this. While she's expected to secure anything her order might find value in, she's got a lot of leeway in her activities down here. If she stumbles across, say, a +6 circlet of intelligence while she's down there, then that thing is hers.
She expects to gain a great deal of experience from this place (not just the mechanical type). This is a treasure trove of ancient wisdom and power just waiting for her to control it. Whats not to love.
She's also aiming to become the next Vicarious of the Order of the Gate, and clearing out such a major dungeon like Rappan Athuk will greatly increase her reputation in the order.
SIGNIFIER IGNATZIA THRUNE:
AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +5 Wis)
Defensive Abilities: Towering Ego, Mesmerist Tricks
Speed: 20 ft.
-Masterwork Alchemical silver Heavy Mace +2 (1d8-1, x2)
- Masterwork Light Crossbow +5 (1d8, 19-20 x2)
Special Attacks: Hypnotic Stare, Painful Stare, Undead Inception, Mental Intrusion
Str: 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int: 20, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk: +2; CMB: +1; CMD: 13
-Psionic Knack (Psion)
-Magical Knack (Mesmerist)
(40 ranks + 8 Background Ranks)
Autohypnosis: +7 (+2 ranks, + 3 class, +2 Wis)
Languages Common, Infernal, Necril, Aklo, Undercommon, Elvish, Abyssal
Special Qualities Discipline Talents
Hypnotic Stare (Su): A mesmerist can focus his stare on one creature within 30 feet as a swift action. That creature takes a –2 penalty on Will saving throws. This penalty changes to –3 at 8th level. A mesmerist can maintain his stare against only one opponent at a time; it remains in effect until the mesmerist stares at a new target, the opponent dies, the opponent moves farther than 30 feet away, or the mesmerist falls unconscious or dies. The mesmerist can remove the memory of his stare from the target’s mind; The creature doesn’t remember that it was affected (nor does it realize that it is currently being affected) unless the mesmerist allows it. The hypnotic stare is a psychic effect, and relies more on the mesmerist’s focus than the target’s perception of his stare. It can’t be avoided in the same ways a gaze attack can. The mesmerist can use this ability even while blinded, but must succeed at a DC 20 concentration check to do so. Staring at a creature requires the mesmerist’s focus, so if he uses a gaze attack or similar ability, he must target the subject of his hypnotic stare or voluntarily end the stare. The penalties from multiple mesmerists’ stares don’t stack, nor do they stack with penalties from witches‘ evil eye hexes. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Painful Stare (Su): When an attack that deals damage hits the target of a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare, the mesmerist can cause the target to take an amount of additional damage equal to 1/2 the mesmerist’s class level (minimum 1). The mesmerist can use this ability as a free action, and can use it even if it isn’t his turn. If the mesmerist uses this ability to increase his own damage, the additional damage increases by 1d6 points for every 3 class levels the mesmerist possesses. This damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit. A mesmerist can trigger this ability only once per round, but a single creature can take damage from multiple mesmerists’ painful stares in a round.
Undead Inception (Su): At 1st level, a spirit walker can affect undead creatures with his hypnotic stare as the psychic inception bold stare ability. This allows him to affect only undead; he must actually choose the psychic inception bold stare improvement if he wants to also affect other mindless creatures. At 3rd level when the spirit walker uses this ability, undead targets don’t receive a saving throw bonus (if they did to begin with), have only a 25% chance of ignoring the spirit walker’s mind-affecting spells and abilities, and no longer need to be under the spirit walker’s gaze to be affected. At 5th level, when the spirit walker uses his mind-affecting spells and abilities, they affect all undead normally, with no chance of failure.
Mesmerist Tricks (Su): A mesmerist can create hypnotic bonds with his allies, implanting magical suggestions in their minds that he can later activate. Each day, he can implant a number of these tricks equal to 1/2 his mesmerist level (minimum 1) plus his Charisma bonus (if any). He can have only one trick implanted at a given time, and implanting a new trick ends the previous one (the mesmerist still loses the use of this ability he spent on the previous trick). To implant a trick, the mesmerist must take a standard action and either touch a willing creature or implant the trick in himself. A creature can be the subject of only one mesmerist trick at a time. The mesmerist can activate the trick as a free action when a triggering condition is met (as defined in the trick’s description), even if it isn’t his turn. The subject must be within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per level) for the mesmerist to trigger the trick. The mesmerist monitors for the trick’s triggering condition through a subtle telepathic connection, so he doesn’t need line of sight to trigger it—but anything that blocks telepathic contact prevents him from triggering tricks. An implanted trick lasts until the next time the mesmerist regains his spells. Once triggered, a trick is no longer implanted, and can’t be triggered again until the mesmerist implants the trick again. The duration of the effect caused by triggering a trick is either instantaneous or appears in the trick’s entry. The DC for any mesmerist trick or masterful trick that requires a saving throw or skill check is 10 + 1/2 the mesmerist’s level + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier.
* Fearsome Guise: A veil of illusion makes the subject appear to be someone else and then transform into a hideous monster at an opportune time. While this trick is implanted, the subject’s appearance is altered, as disguise self. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject attacks a creature. The illusory appearance brief ly makes the subject appear monstrous, then ends. The mesmerist attempts an Intimidate check to demoralize the target of the triggering attack. The restrictions on attempts to demoralize a target (the target being within 30 feet and able to see and hear the creature attempting the Intimidate check) apply to the subject of the trick. This is an illusion (glamer) effect.
* Shadow Splinter: The mesmerist protects the subject against an attack and redirects the harm to someone else. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject takes damage from an attack. The damage the subject takes is reduced by an amount equal to 3 + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier (to a maximum of the total amount of damage the attack deals). Another creature within range of the original attack, other than the attacker, is affected by a shadow illusion that makes it appear as if the attacker is attacking that creature instead of the attacker’s actual target. This second creature takes an amount of damage equal to the amount by which the attack’s damage was reduced. This shadow doesn’t require a roll to hit and ignores cover and concealment, but the target can attempt a Will save to disbelieve the effect. If it succeeds at this save, it neither takes the damage nor believes the attacker targeted it. This trick can’t be triggered if there’s no eligible second creature within range to take the redirected damage. This is an illusion (shadow) effect.
Towering Ego (Su): At 2nd level, a mesmerist gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum 0) on Will saving throws. If the mesmerist is under any effect that would prevent him from providing the emotional component of psychic spells, he loses this bonus on saving throws.
Discipline Talents (Ps): Choose two powers from the following list: conceal thoughts, mind link, mind thrust, telepathic lash. As long as you maintain psionic focus, you may manifest either of your chosen powers without paying a power point cost, but the power may not be augmented or affected by metapsionic feats. The damage of mind thrust is reduced to 1d6. You may only use conceal thoughts on yourself if used as one of your discipline talents.
Mental Intrusion (Ex): At 2nd level, as long as you maintain psionic focus, increase the save DC of any mind-affecting power you manifest by 1 for every 2 power points you spend augmenting the power, provided the augmentation does not already increase the power’s save DC. For the purpose of this ability, you may spend additional power points augmenting a mind-affecting power’s save DC even on a power that normally does not have any augment options.
Power Points: 27/27
Powers Known: [CL 4]
Mesmerist Spells [CL 4]
- Light (Cantrip)
[3 1st level spells per day]