About Tasha Valenti
Natasha, or Tasha, for short, was named after the protagonist (or antagonist, depending whether one has read and agreed with Duchess Marina Abraxas' review of the play) of The Bite of Winter, a little known theatrical piece, notable only among art historians for being the first ever Irrisen-written opera.
Her mother, Valerie Valenti, a second-rate actress and singer in the Kintargo Opera, didn't have a lot of time for the little girl, especially since her first singing teacher described Tasha's singing ability as 'bringing the same pleasure to the ear as a herd of cats being skinned alive, albeit without the visual comedy.'
Instead, since her mother lacked the time to look after a child, being busy with singing practice, and the occasional high society paramour, she was left mostly to her own devices, pestering the porters, the playwrights and the little boys in equal measure. Developing a particular interest in politics and high society, and quite the pen for whimsical political commentary.
Writing rarely pays the bills, however, and when Valerie was swindled out of most of her fortune by a charming scoundrel, claiming to be a Taldane nobleman, she was forced to go and find some other way to pay for roof and ink. Joining the occasional caravan leaving Kintargo as a guard, and proving herself to be both fearless and skilled protector, it prove to be a lucrative enough employ to afford the occasional pamphlet, attached by an arrow to the wall of a tavern or a warehouse, informing the laymen what's what, in a tongue in cheek commentary.
Opening the battered door to the roof, Tasha walked through the low doorframe into her room. Tossing her shield onto the untidied bed, and hanging the vicious-looking knife on the crack-covered wall, she sat down tiredly on the flimsy chair, popping open an inkpot, and reached into the drawer to find a very dirty, yet colourful and seemingly expensive quill. If only you could see me now, William., she sighed, thinking of the late Opera playwright. Well, you'd tell me to keep the show going, no matter the means, wouldn't you. Taking the quill to parchment, she bit into the quill's tip, and started writing in neat, big letters with her calloused hands.
Mint Tea. This foul concoction has long haunted us with its taste, and the unnatural feeling of cold it grants our mouths. Remember, Kintargans, the fine of twenty gold pieces, and the time spent in the dungeons is nothing compared to choosing mint, this foul substance, to attempt to evade the warm sensation of Hell we must all feel at all times. The Lord-Mayor, once again, has proven a reasonable and thinking ahead of time. We must thank him for his thinking ahead of time. It might seem like gangs and riots on the streets are a danger, but the Thrunes know what the real threat is. Mint Tea.
Curfew-abiding and mint-loathing citizen of Kintargo,
"What a load of s%!&.", she grumbled to herself, both towards her writing and the mayoral order. Reaching next to the desk, she uncorked a bottle of wine, taking a good, long sip. Standing up a moment later, she strung her bow and took aim through the window, the parchment attached to the arrow.
Age: 27, Height: 5'7", Weight: 150lbs
Tasha is stocky and wiry, her shoulder-length black hair, overly curious green eyes and expressive face pushing her on the other direction of the pale, graceful, raven-haired Cheliaxian beauty standard so exemplified by her mother.
Her hands and wrists are usually covered in both callouses and ink. A thick, long red leather jacket covers her heavy chainmail, and courier's bag with parchment poking out of it hangs on her side. Enjoying having the excuse of being a caravan guard, she prefers to keep a large round wooden shield on her back, and a particularly vicious knife hangs on her belt.
The large Varisian man knocked on the doorframe, and moved into the tiny room. "Tash!", he barked at the woman sitting on the desk. "Come on, Bracken is buying drinks, and we're toasting Lyra's new scars!", he said in his rumbling voice, stepping into the room, and simple-mindedly staring at the books on the wall.
"I'm going to the protest, Vasil. I'm not missing that. I'm sure you can handle my share of drinks.", Tasha replied without turning her head, scratching her head with a long cyan quill. "And I'll politely refuse to come for another night ending up in literal pissing contests on the streets.", she turned back to see the man staring suspiciously at a finely-bound, yet worn book.
"The Hell is that? Is that like a... spellbook? What's those weird letters say? Hey, someone's written your name on the cover. S*$&, your name's long.", he laughed, holding the book as if it was a mug with no respect for it. Tasha rolled her eyes. "It's Cheliaxian, and that's the complete works of... Nevermind." She turned around, amusement spreading on her face. I have neither the vocabulary nor the decades to explain to him the concept of autographs. "It's not a spellbook, you oaf.", she laughed. "It's a book of opera plays, and it's a gift. Leave it be, please." She looked around the room. "Help yourself to the wine, but stop touching things, alright?", she suggested, pointing towards an uncorked bottle on the nightstand.
The man shrugged, putting the book back. "What do you care about the protest, anyway?", he asked, sitting on the bed and picking up the bottle of wine. "It's not like you get paid for all this writing of what's happening. Besides, Bracken says we'll be moving the caravan to Magnimar. More money, and less crazy Cheliaxians. Better food. Prettier women."
Chuckling, Tasha stood up, packing a small leather-bound journal, inkpot and her quill in her bag. "All the necessities in life, right? Food, sex and fights. Gotta say, gets boring after a while.", she jested. And shouldn't be how people life, anyway. I mean... I don't want to live like that. He's happy, at least.
Standing up from her desk and throwing on a thick coat, she started shoving the big Varisian out of the room. "Come on. Take the wine, but Draconia says 'no gentlemen suitors', and I doubt I can convince her how precisely ungentlemanly you are. Move it.", she explained, shoving the Vasil through the door and locking the door.
LG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +2; Perception +1
Favored Class Bonus +1 to HP
AC 26, touch 12, flat-footed 24 (+10 armor, +2 Dex, +4 Shield)
hp 58 (6d10+18)
Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +4 (+4 add. vs fear);
Speed 20 ft.
Ranged Composite Longbow(+5) +8 (1d8+5)
Melee Heavy Steel Shield +13 (1d6+7), or
Melee Lucky Dagger +12 (1d4+6, 19/20, x2)
Melee Sap +13 (1d3+6 non-lethal, x2)
Background Skills: (Rank/Class/Stat/Bonus)
Belt of Giant Strength 4000
Printing Press 150gp
The Seal Hermit
Major Subject: Sea Animals
Minor Subject: Ocean
Result ??, Great Story
+5 sacred bonus to handle animal (aquatic) checks, and on nature (ocean).
Kintargo Crier: Torrent going down the drain
You gain a +3 sacred bonus on all skill checks regarding the Order of the Torrent organization. This includes social skills, skills used against them in combat, and even skills such as activating their magical devices or forging their documents. You can make such skills checks untrained.
The Assorted Kintargo Crier:
The Kintargo Crier: Law and Order
Rejoice, fellow Kintargans! The rule of Jilia Bainilus has ended, and so has her lax grip on Kintargo. We have been blessed with a strong, powerful and influential ruler once more. No more of that 'everyone is free to choose their destiny' nonsense.
Now, of course, her long and lasting rule has left our populace to wrongfully believe that we Kintargans might know what's best for us, and might ask questions. Questions, such as why does an influential and prosperous city, known for our rich culture and creativity, require such an iron, yet just grip? Or hasn't this exact independence of thought led to the Kintargo Opera House be reknown over all over Golarion for its art? Would the closing of the Opera for personal viewing be bad for the musical scene?
Well, of course not. Would the House of Thrune do anything to adversely affect Kintargo, I ask, rhetorically? The reason why the Opera is closed, it is so that the Lord-Mayor himself might judge whether a play or a performance is good enough for the rest of us. By saving us the effort of having to think for ourselves, we may continue to be productive. Why should we have to use our heads to think, when we could be working ever harder for the benefit of glorious Cheliax and House Thrune.
Champion of truth, as it is approved by the House of Thrune,
Clearly, the usual tavern talk between good citizens. However, it appeared that a certain miniscule level of discontent was present in the crowds of dear and Thrune supporting citizens, and with the gaze, better than that of a hawk, The Lord-Mayor spotted the source without even needing to listen to the crowds in front of his window. The discussion of foreign leadership has reached our ruler's ear, however. Despite what some might claim is disgruntledness against his appointment straining the Kintargan spirit, His Loftiness keenly judged that foreign influential characters must be the cause, and judged all foreign ship's captains remain on their ship. Under the threat of a most ancient and reasonable corporal punishment, which only rarely leaves them crippled for life.
Some of you might ask whether or not the threat to ship captains might lead to a decrease in Kintargan economy, trade and tourism, or even a threat to our image as open and welcoming individuals. To this, I say: If it does, it is a price to pay for having our own leadership figures. Such as Lord-Mayor Thrune, who hails from Cheliaxian mainland, merely a month's ship's journey away.
Loyal supporter of Kintargan Leadership, especially of the local variety,
Citizens of Kintargo!
The just and unbiased reign of Our Imperious Lord Mayor Barzillai Thrune continues, with nary an issue. I, for one, never had any doubts, as any reader would know. However, to the few people still unpersuaded by the current populace, the answer is - what is the most important thing of all? It is our safety.
And safety is what I want to talk about to you today. Look at the proud Chelish Citizen Group member on the street. Their finery indicating that they're always above you, watching for your safety. The brutality of their honesty, the impact of their heavy arguments resonate in the flesh of our city. And their trustfulness and loyalty, as indicated by the strictly regimented bribery system. It has never been easier to pay for your crimes!
Some might question, is the cost of the Chelish Citizen Group validated in these times? Shouldn't they be chasing down dissidents, thieves and spies, instead of the Order of the Torrent, an order with which they should share a purpose? Are those resources not better spent in pursuit of making Kintargo a safer place of its citizens?
Nonsense. Whatever course our Infinitely Competent Lord Mayor pursues, we're behind him. And to those that even here have doubts, I'll tell you the alternative. A new gang has appeared in the poorer areas of town, seemingly using vicious methods and subterfuge in a turf war. The worst part isn't their brutality, as they seem to prefer winning the misguided locals on their side via good will. It's their fiscal irresponsibility. Those churlish miscreants have apparently refused to take bribes or setup insurances, unlike the previous small entreprises, doing it all for free.
Compared to our CCG, who seem more resplendent every passing day, is unqualified, free labour what is needed on the streets? I have no doubt in you, Kintargo, that you will choose the right music. Give your contribution to where it's needed the most.
In tune with the beat of the Chelish Citizen Group,
Few have reason to question our Lord-Mayor, but to those who have the seeds of doubt in their mind as to why he settled on the Order of the Torrent - permit me to explain. As you recall, I've been a fan of the CCG since its conception. They're entirely funded by what people freely give to the numerous armed individuals showing up at their door, and they give so happily. After all - the CCG is exceptionally quick in identifying dissidents, and their word is quickly becoming law.
The Order of the Rack, too, is necessary for Kintargo. Where would Kintargo be, if pursuits of the mind were left to their own devices? Would we truly be Kintargo, if we let whimsical and childish pursuits such as art be centrepiece to our culture? The Order of the Rack knows that everything foreign and new must be feared, and if possible, destroyed.
It leaves the Order of the Torrent. True, the order did have a lot of supporters here in the days of that freedom-loving sycophant, Jilia Bailinus. And, perhaps an order based on protecting us from the dangers of the sea and waters might be a reasonable precaution for a town whose largest exports after minstrels and artists are maritine goods. And, true, there are multiple reports of monsters from the seaside and the sewers kidnapping merchants and children. But ask yourselves this - would you prefer to be kidnapped and driven into the depths, or to have your children's minds risk being changed and broadened by art and culture? And, besides. If you go out in a town where monsters are roving, it's obvious you're asking for it.
Barricaded safely away from the sea, art and the written word,
Stat Block (Legacy):
LG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +2; Perception +2
Favored Class Bonus +1 to HP
AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+6 armor, +2 Dex, +3 Shield)
hp 12 (1d10+2)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +2 (+4 vs fear);
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Spiked Shield +4 (1d6+4)
Melee Kukri +4 (1d4+2) (offhand)
Ranged Dagger +3 (1d4+3)
Str 16, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Focus
Skills Profession(Writer) +6, Linguistics +6, Knowledge(Nobility) +7*, Sense Motive +3, Knowledge(Local) +7*
Languages Common, Infernal, Halfling, Taldane*
Gifted Satirist (Campaign)
Drawback: Attached - Quill
Chain Mail 150gp
Spiked Heavy Steel Shield 30gp
Parchment x30 6gp
Blue Book (Kintargo) 5gp
Heritage Book 50gp