Invoker with an aversion to dirt, a need for revenge...and a snooty accent.
- Palaena, level 1
- Deva, Invoker
- Divine Covenant: Covenant of Wrath
- Background: Detective
- FINAL ABILITY SCORES
- Str 10, Con 15, Dex 8, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 13.
- Starting Ability Scores
- Str 10, Con 15, Dex 8, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 13.
- AC: 16 Fort: 13 Reflex: 13 Will: 15
- HP: 25 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 6
- TRAINED SKILLS
- Religion, Perception, Diplomacy, Arcana.
- 1: Ritual Caster
- 1: Implement Expertise (rod)
- 1, At-Will: Avenging Light
- 1, At-Will: Grasping Shards
- 1, Encounter: Thunder of Judgment
- 1, Daily: Summon Angel of Fire
- Ritual Book, Adventurer’s Kit, Chainmail, Implement, Rod, Dagger
- Hand of Fate, Fastidiousness
Name: Palaena (puh-LAY-nah) Age: 25 Height: 6’3” Weight: 165 lbs. Skin: White, gold markings Hair: Blond Eyes: Orange-gold, pupil-less Alignment: Lawful Good (worships Autor)
Former Profession: Cloistered Temple Maiden Current Profession: Wandering Adventurer/Invoker of Autor
Palaena is a deva, born in a moderate-sized village northwest of Hidor about 150 miles. Her mother, Ata, was born in the city, and lived there for most of her life as a minor priestess to Autor. After meeting Palaena’s father Valin, she moved to the country to leave behind her life as a priestess. A sickness took Ata in the spring of Palaena’s tenth year, and a hunting accident killed her father five years later. Not far from the small village where she grew up, there was a temple, a few miles from the river. It was run by a holy man, a human named Uther, who gladly took her in. She stayed there, rarely leaving, for ten years.
In the morning, she was sent to tend the garden, which was next to the river. She would never have gone if she had known what would happen to Uther and the others.
…The temple is gone. I heard their screams, smelled the smoke in the wind, but I was too far away. By the time I returned from the river, the entire building was engulfed in flame. Even the pages on which I now write are blackened at the edges. Clouds gather, with rain soon to come, and for the first time in ten years, there is no roof under which I may sleep. Instead, I shelter inder the Alder trees, and pray that their leaves will shield me from the downpour…
…I have searched the ruins of the temple, and buried the others. No one escaped the flames, but there was something wrong. It was too much of a shock yesterday, but when I woke this morning, and my mind was fresh, I began to study the scene. The large table from the dining hall was thrust against the doors to the temple, and the windows were wedged shut. Someone has done this. With dire intent, they have defiled our father’s house, murdered the innocent. And in the ashes, there is no sign of our holy reliquary. I will remain here a day longer, and salvage what I can. Once I have done so, I will leave, and find those responsible…
From the temple, Palaena wandered from village to village, slowly learning what questions to ask, and which ones not to. In a tiny town called Grohl, she was told that a group of ten men had stayed at the inn, and one of them carried a small coffer, made of dark red wood, studded in bronze. On it was the seal of the sun, which she knew to be the crest of the temple. When asked which way they were headed, and how long ago they were seen, the man could not clearly remember. After a bit of coercion, Palaena was able to surmise that it had been a week since they’d left, and they were headed for Hidor.
…I entered the great city today. There will be no easy way to ask questions here. The people here are suspicious, and seem to have little precious little to trust about themselves, either. What could those men be doing with the reliquary? From the general babble of the tavern-goers, I gather that there is an underground trade in relics, and objects of great arcane power. Perhaps it is to this market that I should direct my inquiry…
Meeting the Goliath
Upon entering a small district where things of arcane value are traded, Palaena began asking vendors where one may come into possession of illegal goods. While she was rather proud of herself for how stealthy her inquiries had become, it would appear that this was an area in which she still needed practice. A little past noon, a very dirty old man with less teeth than than he had eyes pointed her toward a surprisingly well-kept shop in an extremely strange building. It was three stories tall, built of stone and clay tiles in mosaics over its surface. Two turrets rose like spindles above, and a bulbous balcony protruded from the second floor, where a staircase led to the main entrance. It had the appearance of a sleeping creature, and an aura of life about it. A sign hanging from beneath the stairs read, “Zuran’s Emporium Of Spectacular Marvels.”
“How very humble,” she observed, walking to the stairs. The spiral stair was wide, and made of heavy iron. When she reached the head of the stairs, Palaena found a large set of double doors that opened onto the balcony. The latch, of shining brass, was carved over with spirals and stars, and gave a click when she pressed the catch. A golden bell rang over the door when she pushed it inward, revealing one of the strangest sights she had yet beheld. Shelf upon shelf upon shelf of odds and ends and bric-a-brac sparkled, gleamed and twinkled. Books bound in rare animal hides piled high in corners, in such ways that one might wonder just how they stayed upright.
Perhaps the most eye-gougingly “spectacular” sight was the life-sized statue of a very…flamboyant man made entirely of magically frozen sparkling pixies. However, Palaena was not quite prepared for seeing a jar full of claw-shrimp eyes that moved to watch her as she passed. Hurrying past the shelves, she made directly for the counter at the rear of the shop. There, sitting on a stool, sat a dwarf that could only be the owner of the shop, Zuran himself.
He wore his silvery beard braided with gold and sapphires over a bright blue velvet jacket, its sleeves turned up to reveal a crimson shirt beneath. His hair was cropped rather short, but stuck out behind his ears, as if to make him seem even more shocking than he was. Zuran (for indeed, that is who this little man was) smoked a long pipe of burl wood, inlayed in silver and mother-of-pearl, and watched Palaena approach, blowing smoke rings as he did.
Shrewd eyes the color of spring leaves gave a twinkle as he said in a smooth, fatherly tone, “And how can I help you, missy?” Palaena did not miss the way his eyes roamed, taking in each detail of her person. He seemed to take an unhealthy interest in the gold trim on her armor, and the red gem that decorated her headpiece. This man would not readily answer her questions, she was sure.
Trying to seem as casual as she could, Palaena leaned on the counter. “I wonder if you might be able to help me…”
A bushy white eyebrow rose. “Depends on the kind of help you need.” His tone indicated the unspoken statement of and how much gold you’ve got to pay for it with…
Palaena smiled, hoping that she did so disarmingly. “I’m looking for something. It’s a small wooden box, painted red. About this big,” she held out her hands, indicating the dimensions of the object, “and has gold studs on it. There’s a little golden sun on the lid, as well.” A flash of recognition passed over his face, but just as it was there, it was gone. She was decently assured that she would get no information from him, now. Zuran did not answer for a long moment.
“Now, what would you want with this box? Is there something special inside?” He pulled deeply on his pipe before sending smoke billowing into Palaena’s face.
She resisted the urge to cough as she answered. “Nothing of value to you, sir, I assure you. It is an heirloom, of sorts.”
Smiling toothily, Zuran shook his head. “I’m sorry, missy. Can’t say that I’m able to help you.”
After thanking him for his time (because he had been of absolutely no help, so she wouldn’t thank him for that), Palaena left the shop to continue her search. Down a small, narrow street, there was another shop. This one was in disrepair, and looked as if no one had gone in to do business for close to a year. Shingles were starting to fall off of the bottom of the roof as she went in, and there seemed to be a thick layer of dust over everything in the place. She could barely read the peeling paint on the sign outside that appeared to say, “Ma Dunley’s Oddities”.
At first, Palaena nearly sent a bolt of divine fire across the room. She could have sworn that there was a hag sitting behind the counter. After a moment, she realized that in fact, it was merely an extremely old and ugly woman staring at her (albeit with a decidedly sour expression). “Excuse me I-“
“Whattya wan’ in ‘ere, miss fancy-pants?” The crone spat, and Palaena developed an instantaneous dislike, bordering on hatred, for her.
Clearing her throat and trying to sound civil, she said, “I wonder if you could tell me if you have seen this box.” Holding out a piece of paper that she’d spent a few minutes to draw a faithful representation of the coffer upon, Palaena waited for the woman to take it. She was, however, disappointed when steely eyes merely flicked quickly in the direction of the drawing and then looked back at her face.
“No, I ‘ent seen it. Now, either yeh buy somethin’, or make like a tree.” Palaena opened her mouth to respond, but the old woman raised her voice. “Alphie! We got a customer what needs escortin’!” From a door behind the woman emerged a large man, perhaps three inches taller than Palaena herself, who had to go through the entrance sideways. He might not have fit, otherwise.
“You called, Ma?” He seemed slightly dull in the head, but had a spark of avarice behind his eyes. Ma Dunley just waved a hand at Palaena, and Alfie moved around the counter.
Suddenly, and with very little warning, Palaena’s spine decided to stiffen. She was extremely indignant as she put a hand in the middle of the man’s chest to keep him at arm’s length. Addressing the woman, she said, “There is no need for violence, madame. I can find my own way out.” With that, she quickly left the shop. She muttered under her breath as she walked out into the street again. “This is a complete waste of time…”
As she arrived in the main street of the district, she was just starting to think of what she would have for her midday meal when an enormous hand grabbed her arm above the elbow. “I beg your pardon!?” Palaena cried, trying to shake off her assailant.
“You better stop that. They’re coming.” The voice from behind her was deep and sounded something like a bucket of gravels being stirred with a metal rod.
“I’m warning you,” she hissed, “If you do not unhand me this instant, I’ll burn you to a crisp.” She glared at the hand, as if she could burn it with her gaze.
“Can’t. Dunleys coming. Come with me, you’ll be safe.” Palaena managed to twist around enough to look around a massive shoulder. There were three beefy men with very ugly haircuts walking purposefully toward them.
Her body went slightly limp as she swore, “Flaming fomorian dung…”
“Come?” asked the voice again, and she nodded, not really paying attention to the way the enormous man was frog-marching her down the street. After a few minutes, Palaena was hoisted up, and tossed over one of the man’s massive shoulders. While this was a faster mode of travel, it turned out to be rather painful when bony growths started digging into her stomach. All she could do was watch the white swirls on the man’s back as he ran through the city. Then, there was a noise to her left, and Palaena craned her neck, only to see a decidedly odd creature that (for once) she actually recognized. What was a tree wolveroo doing so far north?
The small animal had its tail partially wrapped around the man’s neck, and looked at her with disdain. She only shrugged apologetically at the little creature. “Sorry,” she said, “not my choice.”