About Triphylla Achlys
Personality: A child of the streets, with the ominous theives' guild around one corner and the Arena around the next, Triphylla always felt caught between forces she could not control which were, at the same time, the source of her family's prosperity and greatest fears. As a result, Triphylla is suspicious by nature. She has rejected countless proposals from promising halflings, both male and female, charmed by her beauty, clever tongue, and the modest fame that comes with her family name. It's not that she does not desire companionship and intimacy - she frequently indulges herself - rather, she has been unable to commit to any relationship long enough to overcome her failings with trust. Besides, she has too much to accomplish to allow anyone to command too much of her attention.
Triphylla can appear generous and warm one minute and exchange sarcastic quips the next. She has learned to adapt and seeks to gain advantage quickly during social conflicts, and is not above using mockery when it suits her. Beneath the bluster and passion, she is desperate to confront oppressors in society and prove them wrong. She thrives in chaos.
Background in Brief: Her father was halfling Champion at Oppara Arena and her mother crafted potions and bombs for the Brotherhood of Silence. These connections earned the Achlys family infamy and renown. Some of that died with her father, but Triphylla still carries the burdens of her parents' choices and inherited connections to the Oppara underworld. Her personal journey is her own, but she knows she cannot do it alone. (full Backstory at bottom of Profile)
Description: 3'0", 29 lbs. Even by Taldan standards, Triphylla is attractive, and is often referred to by humans as appearing doll-like. Piercing green eyes gaze wide, framed by a dense volume of chestnut curls. She cuts a fine figure and stays in excellent shape. She's a total bad ass.
Character Goals: Triphylla believes that elevating a female Taldan to the throne will have a waterfall effect not only for human women but also for the city's underclasses of all races. She will do whatever it takes to help create that outcome. She has no illusions about her personal advancement in Taldan society, nor does she desire such titles for herself, although some recognition is always appreciated.
Buff and move into melee, Mutagen, Invisibility Extract, Shield, etc.
Feral Mutagen Attack, Power Attack, Sneak Attack, Rage (4 rds, save for Bosses)
Base Combat Stats: Attack +7 (BAB+Dex), Damage +1
Bite 1d6 & 2 Claws 1d4 each, all with 2d6 sneak attack if flanking
Melee against 2+ enemies: +1 Attack, +1 AC
Maximum AC and Attack (Dex Mutagen + Dex Rage)
Maximum Damage (Str Mutagen + Str Rage)
Optimized (Dex Mutagen + Str Rage)
Level 1: Deft Maneuvers (Combat)
You are skilled in a variety of dexterous combat maneuvers.
Prerequisite: Dex 13
Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip or disarm combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks with trip and disarm combat maneuvers, and you can make a Bluff check to feint in combat as a move action. You also receive a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to trip or disarm you.
Normal: You provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip or disarm combat maneuver. Feinting in combat is a standard action.
Level 3: Cosmopolitan
Level 3: Power Attack
Free Feats: Combat Expertise, Weapon Finesse
Skill ranks / lvl: 4+2 + Background 2/lvl
Class Special Abilities:
Alchemy, Brew Potion, Mutagen, Throw Anything, Sneak Attack 2d6, Poison Use, Discovery, Torturer's Eye, Cruel Anatomist, Rage
Alchemist 4 (Vivisectionist)
Extracts per Day: Lvl 1: 3+1; Lvl 2: 1+1
Lvl 2 Discovery: Feral Mutagen
Lvl 2: Torturer's Eye
Lvl 3: Cruel Anatomist
Lvl 4 Discovery: Infusion
Barbarian 1 (Elemental Kin / Urban Barbarian)
Crowd Control (Ex)
Controlled Rage (Ex)
Rage Powers: The following rage powers complement the urban barbarian archetype: boasting taunt, clear mind, deadly accuracy, guarded stance, intimidating glare, lethal accuracy, no escape, quick reflexes, perfect clarity, sharpened accuracy, surprise accuracy, and unexpected strike.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Level Up Notes:
For 6th lvl, take Barbarian, Rage Power = Fiend Totem, Lesser, for extra Gore primary natural attack. 7th lvl, back to Alchemist. Grab Owl's Wisdom 2nd lvl formula and either Accomplished Sneak Attacker for 4d6 sneak attack or Extra Rage for +6 rage rounds.
Ability Score Modifiers: Halflings are nimble and strong-willed, but their small stature makes them weaker than other races. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, and –2 Strength.
Size: Halflings are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Type: Halflings are humanoids with the Halfling subtype.
Base Speed (Slow Speed): Halflings have a base speed of 20 feet.
Languages: Halflings begin play speaking Common and Halfling. Halflings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Goblin. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
Underfoot Dodger: City-dwelling halflings do not treat crowd squares as difficult terrain and they gain a +5 bonus on Acrobatics checks to move through the spaces of larger foes. This racial trait replaces fearless and weapon familiarity.
Human Shadow: Halflings seem to pop up wherever humans are found, in part because they actively support and move with human explorers, settlers, and travelers without drawing attention to themselves. These halflings can use Stealth to hide behind creatures at least one size category larger than themselves, without any other source of concealment or cover. As long as the halflings are within 30 feet of a human, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand checks and Stealth checks. This racial trait replaces keen senses and sure-footed.
Adaptable Luck: Some halflings have greater control over their innate luck. This ability gives them more options for how they can apply their good fortune from day to day, but also narrows its scope. Three times per day, a halfling can gain a +2 luck bonus on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. If halflings choose to use the ability before they make the roll or check, they gain the full +2 bonus; if they choose to do so afterward, they only gain a +1 bonus. Using adaptive luck in this way is not an action. This racial trait replaces halfling luck.
You had a knack for getting yourself into trouble as a child, and as a result developed a silver tongue at an early age.
Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff checks, and Bluff is always a class skill for you.
Campaign Trait: Young Reformer
Once per day, you can call upon your co-conspirators to have “made arrangements” on your behalf, allowing you to attempt a Knowledge (local) check in place of a single Bluff, Disable Device, Intimidate, or Sleight of Hand check. The DC of this Knowledge (local) check is equal to the DC of the skill check it replaces. Whatever arrangements you make—for doors left unlocked, guards strong-armed out of your way, stolen keys left for you to find—must be reasonable to have anticipated and achieved beforehand; you could arrange to have a noble convinced you’re a very important diplomat traveling in disguise, for example, but if a fight breaks out you could not rely on your network of contacts to feint for you in combat. You don’t have to use this ability in advance; you can announce its use as you encounter a challenge, implying you foresaw this challenge and made arrangements prior to your arrival.
Alchemical Items: (see Resource tracker)
Alchemy Crafting Kit
Backpack, Masterwork: 50 gp; 2 lbs.
Masterwork Thieves’ Tools
Triphylla's Story so far:
Jael Achlys was an Oppara Arena Champion. Not the champion, of course. He would never be allowed to fight for that title, and if given the opportunity, would probably die very quickly. But there were few halflings who could best Triphylla's father in a fight, and when he entered the Arena for one of the early card matches intended to warm up and amuse the crowd, he was fierce, powerful, and victorious more often than not.
The road to the Arena was difficult even for the elite Taldan warriors who sought glory and wealth following a term of service in the Phalanx; the martial skills learned in that revered institution were best suited to combat among a band of soldiers as opposed to the one-against-one or free-for-all matches most common in the Arena. Often, the best fighters had come from the lesser city districts where the life-and-death stakes were real. Such was the path for Jael.
Being the halfling Champion was not without perks. He received a cut of the wagers in his favor as well as a weekly stipend - incentive to continue to fight and to win. There was nothing particularly special about Jael; he was not the strongest nor the quickest, and not by many years the youngest or most capable. What separated him - what made him dangerous within the confines of the Arena - were two people: his wife and daughter. He fought for them. He fought for Triphylla's future.
Maella - Triphylla's mother - came from a long line of chymists. The formulae book had been passed from generation to generation, as had the knowledge to craft potions and poultices. By now, a dozen generations had been actively employed by the Brotherhood of Silence in the creation of bombs and other instruments of destruction. Maella did not think of this work in terms of right or wrong. It was simply part of the family business, an arrangement that kept the halflings out of squalor and in the good graces of the powerful guild of thieves.
Jael and Maella met at the docks in Eastport. He was carrying barrels of fish and crates of goods for coin and exercise, and she was receiving a shipment of alchemical materials. She fell in love with his smile, his square jaw, and his crooked nose, and he was enchanted by her beauty, intelligence, and wit. They were an unlikely pair, but among the thousand halflings settled in Oppara, they became pillars of the local community - he as Arena champion and she as the critical link to the nefarious underworld of Men.
Triphylla would be their only child. A younger brother was still-born, an event which crushed her mother's resolve and made Maella question the parallel direction of her family line with the Brotherhood. She drew a line in the sand: she would continue to serve their interests, but Triphylla would be free from the centuries-old arrangement if she chose to be. Meanwhile, Jael began to lose fights he used to win. He was dethroned as the halfling champion. As his losses and his pain mounted, Maella ventured down the dark path, learning how to make mutagens and also how to share them with her husband. Jael would again rise to the rank of Champion. And as Triphylla grew he knew he had to win for her.
When Triphylla was old enough, her father taught her how to fight, or at least how to fight someday. They lifted barrels and crates down by the docks and ran as far as the Bridge and back. He took her to the Arena and described each fighter's style and stance, their strengths and weaknesses, and just as importantly, he explained who the significant Taldan elites were in the crowd, how they were related, and what role they played in society.
Maella taught her the old family business - the legitimate trade - although there was no hiding the girl from the truth about their most important clients. Triphylla never attended school. She never worshiped gods or goddesses. Her education was on the street, in the shadows, and in the Arena.
Jael continued to fight long past his prime, and with Maella's potions he was formidable into middle-age. But in the later years he became distant - absent. He would stare at the street for hours and rarely engage in conversation. Once, in an increasingly rare lucid moment, he turned to Triphylla and said, "They will tell you what you cannot do. Prove them wrong." She didn't know who "they" were but the words were etched in her mind as if chiseled on granite, and it became her personal motto: Prove them wrong.
Her father died in his sleep. He was not yet old, but the years in the Arena had taken a toll. Not long after, the Brotherhood sent a member to the house. That had never happened before. The Taldan rogue was sympathetic, but at the same time, Maella needed to continue to work her craft. People lived and people died. Oppara and the Brotherhood were eternal.
When Triphylla turned twenty her mother kissed her and said, "Go. I release you from this life. Your future is your own." She would continue to see her mother often; the lessons of the past are not forgotten. Life is hard afterall. Especially so if you are a halfling in Oppara. But fate had a plan for Triphylla...
In her 26 years, Triphylla had yet to enter a pub in Oppara where chairs were sized for anyone but humans. She made a show of leaping to the top of the lone open stool at the bar and laying her wide-brimmed wool hat adorned with that ridiculous purple peacock feather on the ale-stained oaken plane. It was a flourish that gained attention despite her diminutive stature. Such things don't matter, her mother always told her, but in Taldor, only such things mattered. The Pig & Whistle was such a Taldan place.
"Rye whiskey," shouted the halfling. Triphylla shouted often in pubs; humans tended to be over-loud in such settings so as to make every high-minded argument evident to all subscribed. Better that an approved opinion be shared and acknowledged, lest one be considered to be low-minded on current affairs.
Triphylla succeeded in acquiring the attention of the barmaid, the kind of young, narrow-waisted, heavy-bossomed lass that so often fit that particular bill. The barmaid spied the halfling, then her eyes quickly darted left to each other customer - every one of them a man - before retiring in the halfling's direction in defeat.
Repeating her drink order, Triphylla added, loudly enough for those nearby to hear, "And should you arrive at a gentleman who does not agree that females - of any race - ought be given our say in the future of this great land, let him know he need only speak his mind to be properly immasculated."
The man next to her spit his drink. The barmaid looked uncomfortable. But this was a game Triphylla had played before, and her empty pockets were as much a testament to her "lack of useful talent" and "incongruent societal overreach" as it was her tenacity, confidence, and guile.
For a split-second a hush fell over the revelers in the pub, and in that precious moment one man stood to his feet with such vigor that his chair scattered from beneath him halfway across the room.
"Say that again!" bellowed the man, applying weight to the final syllable so as to sink a lesser opponent by the awesomeness of his oratory style alone.
There was a precipitous pause in the action as the gathered Taldans anticipated a reply. To repeat the claim was bad form, of course, and Triphylla was no stranger to this method of combat. But she would not be rushed either. She picked her hat from the bar and swiveled her hips to rotate her feet without moving them, a kind of visual trick that often spoke louder than any opening retort. At the same time, the barmaid meekly poured a short glass of sturdy malt pushed it at the halfling - no offense intended.
Triphylla followed her ears, reaching for the glass and finding it without looking, then raised it to her adversary. He bowed, and they both drank. Priority had not been relinquished, however, and it was still hers to embrace or squander.
"I said a gentleman," said Triphylla with a coy arch to her brow. Again there was silence, during which the halfling questioned whether she had wrongly guessed the mood of the room, but then she was rewarded by a rising chorus of hoots and applause.
Her opponent did not flinch, but waited for the response of the crowd to diminish before countering, "A man, no one will deny, but gentle, as many a maiden in Taldor can attest, I am not." The crowd in the room ooo-ed and hollered approvingly at the bawdy retort.
"You look the part - a noble countenance in your jaw," Triphylla observed. "Clearly I misjudged your virility."
The man seemed pleased with that rebuttal, and the crowd hummed approvingly. "You flatter me. And now that you have judged me fairly, I repeat my demand: say that again!"
Triphylla looked about the pub. It was a common room like any other: poorly lit and overcrowded at this late hour, each paying customer a Taldan man, many with vapid, beautiful, young women at the arm, aroused to perform on demand. The Pig & Whistle was Taldan through and through. The halfling knew she had her work cut out for her if she was to drink free tonight.
Ignoring his demand, she set her glass down on the bar and plucked the long, animated peacock feather from her hat, and holding it by the quill, waved it in the general direction of the table at which the man now stood. "Do you believe, sir, that you are privileged based on the shape of your genitals?" That got a reaction from the crowd, but mostly one of shocked disdain, as if she had hit them below the belt.
The man smiled and shrugged. "I would not typically stoop to that low distillation of a man, although in your case I may have to make an exception." He gestured toward the ground with the palm of his hand as if approximate the halfling's small size. The gathered revelers offered polite chuckles at his rather obvious and unimaginative retort. They were still in his camp, after all.
"You would consider it to be fate or providence, then, that you are a man and I am a woman."
"Yes, and I feel no less masculine for that outcome."
"Nor should you," Triphylla replied. "But if you will indulge me, the women at your table - do you speak for them?"
"On various matters, yes."
"On political matters?"
"Can you command the cycle of their menses?"
The man recoiled, appalled at the notion. "I spare it no thought whatsoever."
"She has agency in that regard?"
"Naturally, and woe be the man who must negotiate with her in the midst of it. Better to schedule a day of hunting."
"Or a week!" shouted another man nearby, earning a healthy round of applause which left the first man wanting.
"Indeed," Triphylla said loudly to quiet the non-participants. "A woman should be inflicted with solitude each month to preserve the sanity of her man. Though by secluding her, you grant her a measure of sovereignty, do you not? On whom can she rely but herself?" The rhetorical question was greeted by a flurry of agitated mumblings.
Triphylla continued. "Should every woman's calendar align with the moon, and should then every man gallop off to hunt, would you worry about us? Please do not, for we have our own minds, and just as we arrive to the world in the exact same fashion as yourselves, we live only in our own bodies as you do and we die with no less finality. Our lives are ours alone, no matter how much we often prefer to be protected and supported, nor how much you desire us to be so; no other is ultimately responsible for our fate. You own yours and I own mine. To impose your will on us not only conflicts directly with this natural order, but it weakens society by reducing our collective potential."
To this argument there was only silence. She knew what they were thinking: Surely this was a logically fallacy. One only need puzzle it out... Her opponent narrowed his gaze until his eyes were mere slits, until the weight of expectation was unbearable.
He shook his head dismissively. "I should have known better that to engage with a halfling. The little folk can spar through more drink than we!" Then, returning his attention to the crowd he recovered his wicked countenance. "I am bested in this duel, but at least I still have my cock!" Now every man raised a glass and cheered. Many of the women in the pub continued to gaze at the little halfling, some nodding discreetly.
Triphylla donned her big floppy hat and was about to jump down when there was a tap on her shoulder. She turned to see the pub owner - a very large bald man - pointing at the empty glass. She intended to refer him to her vanquished foe when a handful of silver hit the table beside her. She followed the hand to its owner, an elegant woman of noble stature, dressed in pink, blue, and white.
"I represent the interests of Lady Martella Lotheed. How would you like a job?"