About Valko van Richten
1st Level—cure light wounds, blend,
Male Half-elf (Ustlavian) Investigator 2
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex, )
Speed 30 ft.
1st Level—cure light wounds, blend, endure elements, [Open Slot]
and knowledgeable—he also possesses keen powers of observation and deduction above and beyond the abilities of others. An investigator typically uses these powers to aid in their investigations, but can use these flashes of inspiration for other situations.
An investigator has the ability to augment skill checks and ability checks through his brilliant inspiration. The investigator has an inspiration pool equal to 1/2 his investigator level + his Intelligence bonus, minimum 1. As a free action, he can expend one use of inspiration from his pool to add 1d6 to the result of that check (including any he takes 10 or 20 on). This choice is made after the check is rolled and before the results are revealed. An investigator can only use inspiration once per check or roll. The investigator can use inspiration on any Knowledge, Linguistics, or Spellcraft skill checks without spending a use of inspiration, provided he’s trained in that skill.
Inspiration can also be used on attack rolls and saving throws, though at the cost of expending two uses of inspiration from the investigator’s pool. In the case of saving throws, using inspiration is an immediate action rather than a free action.
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 18 (20), Wis 14, Cha 12
Skills: (12 [Ranks] + 8 [Int] + 2 [Favored Class] + 2 [Shard]) 24
Combat Gear: masterwork silver dagger, light crossbow (20 bolts), alchemist's fire (x3), alkali flask
Renfeld — Valko's trusty lab assistant:
(3 sp/day; hireling)
Renfeld the Lab Assistant [CR 1/3]
Human Expert 1
AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+1 armor, +2 Dex)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 8, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 9
Currency 0 Pp 543gp 3sp 0cp
1st—blend, comprehend languages, crafter's fortune, cure light wounds, disguise self, endure elements, identify
The ruin of the expedition lay all around Ulrich van Richten, massacred beyond recognition as the men and women they had once been. Their struggles and sacrifice were not without merit, however. Before Ulrich, prone and on the cusp of defeat lay Baron Wexler—the elder vampire that the Ustlavian had pursued for the better part of three decades. The fiend's destruction was finally at hand, yet Ulrich found himself hesitant. Perhaps it was the weary smile on his nemesis' face that alarmed him. Or perhaps it was the realization that what had given his life meaning for so long stood ready to vanish forever.
Eyes emanating an unholy light, Wexler smiled up to Ulrich even as the Pharasman array of relics surrounding him visited sizzling ruin upon his pallid form. Such baubles could not contain him should he choose to elude Ulrich yet again. But the nature of their merry chase had changed. The ancient vampire welcomed the sting of his worthy opponent's stake through sternum and heart. He longed for the dignity of a clean death. "Finish it, van Richten!" It was not a malign hiss that delivered the words, but an exhausted plea.
Ulrich, slightly taken aback by the creature's tone, responded as evenly as his emotions could allow. "I will gladly usher you into what oblivion you deserve well, fiend. I shall pierce the shriveled husk within your chest; claim your head; incinerate all that remains of you. You are utterly defeated, Wexler."
Wexler forced a slight grin on his face before nodding in agreement with van Richten's plan and assessment. "Yes; leave nothing for the terror of old to salvage."
"Terror of old? Of what do you speak, creature?"
"The Tyrant, van Richten. THE Tyrant." Wexler forced his eyes to meet those of van Richten's. "His shackles are no longer such. He stirs even now—whispers that threaten to consume what self I have left. I will not be his pawn. END IT!" Weakened hands clutch desperately at the hand holding the stake, bringing the tip of the instrument against his chest. "Free me from this curse and the Whispering Tyrant, Ulrich. Free me and flee these lands. My rival; my equal... my friend."
Valko was born the only son of Ulrich van Richten, a peerless monster hunter and vampire slayer based out of Ardis in Ustalav. Ulrich's exploits earned him much fame, glory, and riches during his travels, going so far as to earn him noble titles by way of marriage to the beautiful Countess Nicolesa Albesne. And though their marriage was generally well suited and happy, it was not without its share of difficulties.
When Ulrich returned from one of his extended conquests with a son—a half-elven child, no less—it sent ripples through the upper crust of Ardis and Ustalav at large. Despite his many contributions and glorymongering, their family's status proved incapable of withstanding the consequences of Ulrich's infidelities. That his longtime elven companion, Daeavain Aleanavirrea, no longer shared in his company told plainly the tale of who the child's mother truly was. Despite this, Ulrich resolved to raise Valko as his own. Unfortunately, Nicolesa had no such intentions, loathing the child utterly from the first day she saw it. Remarkably, the woman held no contempt for Ulrich himself, instead focusing all of her bile and hate for the child produced by his affair, doting on their daughters Victoria and Carmena and instilling in them also a hatred for their half-brother Valko.
Their reputation and financial affairs found themselves quickly in ruin, as did Ulrich's reputation and standing as a member of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye after he returned from a final and very unsanctioned campaign against the dread vampire, Baron Wexler. His indiscretion had cost thirteen members their lives on that terrible night, though the events surrounding Tar-Baphon's return would prove too great a distraction for any retribution to threaten visitation on Ulrich. Using the knowledge given him by Wexler, Ulrich rounded up his family and struck out westward towards what was left of Varisia. He had not fathomed how quickly and utterly Karzoug's campaign would progress in those western lands.
Struggling financially, Ulrich and Nicolesa are forced to ply their trade in a manner degrading to their former status, putting on elaborate operatic performances for various aristocrats and wealthy estate owners along the way—Ulrich taking advantage of their various invitations and accommodations to keep up to date on the state of affairs in Ustalav when able. It is not long until agents of the Cyphermages, reminted firmly under the banner the growing Empire of Xin-Shalast, discover the identity of someone so talented as Ulrich van Richten. He and his family had not even yet reached the borders of Shalast or Varisia when these agents revealed themselves and encouraged the Ustlavian Count to make available his services, rendered now to serve the greatness of the Runelord of Greed. Understanding full well the price of refusal, Ulrich agreed, though not without his own demands.
Ulrich, Nicolesa, and their children (even Valko) are given accommodations fitting people of their standing within the many-spired capital Xin-Shalast. Ulrich's experience and considerable expertise is put to use regularly in the service of the Cyphermages, delving through the depths of various Thassilonian ruins across the country in an effort to recover what was lost to Karzoug in the ten thousand years that had passed since his torpor began. Meanwhile, Valko, who has long been tutored and mentored by his father, is given leave to demonstrate his loyalties in Magnimar. He is initially given the simple task of establishing himself as an information broker to Taros Ardoc, who had himself only just begun rennovations on Heidmarch Manor.
Not wishing to languish under the boring prospect of being nothing but eyes and ears for someone else, Valko found himself drawn to the resurfaced faith of Lissala, and threw himself into his assignment above and beyond what was expected. Despite the iron fisted rule of Magnimar and the examples set by Viorian Dekanti and her borrowed cadre of rune giants, elements of rebellion yet arose within the City of Monuments. Valko discovered one such element, and acted quickly to establish a name for himself.
Though Theridon Krul took admirable and painstaking precautions to protect the flock of Milanites under his protection that opposed Karzoug from ruins beneath the city, his ruse was not perfect. After poisoning and subduing the "baker", Valko interrogated the man relentlessly—aided by countless alchemical forms of encouragement. After learning the location and names of the Milani-worshiping rebels, Valko gave Theridon a lethal dose of poison. After delivering the body and the information extracted from the man to the Lissalan clergy in Magnimar—not to mention the subsequent rapid purging of said freedom fighters from the city—Valko's name began to carry considerable weight and respect amongst those owing allegiance to Karzoug.
Shortly after his successful infiltration of a cult of Milani, Valko is finally extended the invitation that Ulrich van Richten had secured for him personally from Taros Ardoc: an invitation to join the Cyphermages in their Magnimar lodge.
Short and scrawny with overly eager eyes, Valko doesn't present a very impressive stature. He has a vorpal wit, however, and is well aware of it, resulting in a capacity to be the shortest person in a room that can still manage to look down at everyone. His hair is kept short for purely practical reasons, and he has a lightly tanned face that demonstrates no capacity for growing hair whatsoever. Valko's features are sharp and handsome, owing to a strong presence of elven heritage in his bone structure. He dresses in comfortable, loose-fitting garments that demonstrate very plainly his devotion to the tenets of Lissala, over top of which are draped several straps, buckles, and a bandolier containing various baubles, books, and concoctions.
Ambitious: The combined weight of trying to prove himself worthy to father, mother, sibling, organization, and faith is a tall order to fill. His mind and senses have been honed to perfection, however, and he intends to put them to use with as much enthusiasm and competence as he can muster. To survive in Golarion these days, one needs a purpose: Valko has found his.
Mommy Issues: Not having truly experienced any compassion or maternal efforts from Nicolesa (coupled with little better treatment by his sisters) has resulted in a young man who tends to place little value on women and relationships in general. Though he has taken many to bed, they only amount to short-lived trysts that he discards with a pitiable frequency. He still strives to earn some measure of respect or adoration from his mother, though deep down he knows such a thing is impossible.
Religious: Though his father brought him up on Pharasma's teachings, Valko has since shifted his beliefs firmly into the realm of Lissala since arriving in Magnimar. Whether this is a knee-jerk desperation to prove himself worthy to the agents of the Runelord or a deep seeded philosophy is yet unknown (likely even to Valko).
Meticulous: Valko's attention to detail is almost infuriating, to the point of obsessive compulsion—though it is a boon without equal when the young man is on assignment. Little escapes his notice, and even fewer obstacles manage to confound or elude his keen wit and uncanny perception.
The Shard of Pride:
The Shard of Pride is made of coppery horacalcum. As long as the Shard of Pride is carried, its owner can use major image as a spell-like ability once per day, gains a +2 insight bonus on saves versus illusion spells, and gains a +2 insight bonus on all skill checks.
Thanks to the scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone the Shard grants the wearer a +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence. This stone has one skill associated with it: Knowledge History
Curse: The owner suffers delusions of grandeur, and is sickened whenever she must serve another creature as a subordinate of any sort for as long as that arrangement persists. She cannot gain the benefit of the aid another action, nor can she take the aid another action.