Friday 13 June 2014

Aaron Weaver

I recently introduced you in a bit more detail to Alexei, the character my otherhalf plays in our Pathfinder game. I mostly did this as a way to explain why gods showed up at the royal wedding – whilst tiredness from players and GM may have contributed to this, Alexei’s major levels of wibble certainly played a part.

Today it’s the turn of Aaron Weaver, the tiefling ‘ranger’ Svetlana, Alexei and Chester acquired as a companion after reclaiming the Dawnlands and shortly before going to find out what had happened to the barons of Varnhold (the ones who’d been killed by the Cyclops Lich). (See here)

Aaron initially introduced himself as ‘Mollos’, a name that caused confusion to Svetlana as her fledgling spy network struggled to find anything out about him: it was as if he did not exist. It didn’t help that, apart from being a tiefling (a race that is not widely spread in the northern regions, but does have a presence there and is more common in the south from whence he came) there was not much to make him stand out: average height, average build, dark brown hair. His skin has a red tint to it, the whites of his red eyes are black and he has small fangs and a demonic-looking tail, but overall he is not remarkable.

The Dawnlands Barons accepted his help and, finding him to be helpful and capable, brought him closer into their circle. Svetlana continued to keep an eye on him but quickly grew to enjoy his company and having an extra pair of fighting arms was very useful!

‘Mollos’ was dragged along to Absalom by the party. He had barely met Oleg before and was unaware of his incredible aging son, Vlad, and knew nothing about the mysterious thanadaemon sighting that obliged Alexei, Svetlana and Chester to give evidence to the Grand Council gathering there, but gamely agreed to accompany them nonetheless.

What the party did not know, at this point, was that Aaron was not a ranger at all but rather a Red Mantis assassin – a member of the same order who had tried to kill Chester in Pitax. However, the assassin in Pitax was a rogue: Red Mantises have a strict code of conduct imposed by their god Achaekek and Chester was not an approved target. This was why Aaron had joined the Barons – to protect Chester, to discover the identity of the mysterious assassin and to bring them to justice.

Once in Absalom, whilst Svetlana’s main concerns were finding her friends’ son and seeing her beloved and Alexei’s were (apparently) gathering in power, wibble and followers, Aaron was concerned to discover that the Red Mantis assassin here causing trouble by killing off various members of the Council matched the description of an old friend of his – a female tiefling from the order. He admitted his true nature and some of his suspicions (although not yet his name) to the Barons shortly after Chester returned to the Dawnlands. Despite Chester’s departure, Aaron stayed in Absalom, suspecting that Chester would be safe and the rogue assassin would remain in Absalom; he was right (yes, this would be the point my brother dropped out of the game).

Aaron aided in the capture of the rogue Mantis who certainly seemed to be his friend Kit, although she did not recognise him or the name he called her by. He demonstrated an incredibly powerful loyalty to her nonetheless, doing everything in his power – even asking the assistance of Alexei – to try and get her freed. Aaron’s efforts were in vain: it became clear that, if this was the one who had been his friend Kit, she was no longer the same individual and was instead the cruel and ruthless assassin Absalom took her for. She was sentenced to death.

He may also have killed the Blood Mistress and become the herald of Achaekek, but the loyalty Aaron showed to his friend was what made the greatest impression on Svetlana (even if she wasn’t asked to help, being too busy trying to help Malliard free Vlad, making sure Oleg was ok and spending time with Noleski).

Aaron’s efforts in Absalom have seen him awarded with some farming lands in Brevoy and more impressively taking on the leadership of the Red Mantis; not bad work for someone who appears to be only about 18 or 19. He’s not the most experienced assassin and at present seems a little unsure of how to lead the assassins, but being chosen by their god is no doubt going to assist in this regard.

In terms of class, Aaron does actually have a few levels in ranger besides being a Red Mantis assassin (which I believe is a prestige class). Normally to be an assassin one should be lawful evil but our GM is a bit more relaxed on things like that (how else could we have an assassin and a paladin in the party?) so Aaron is actually lawful neutral (as is the paladin, in fact). Since defeating the Blood Mistress, he has arrived at his mythic path – that of Champion. Aaron’s mythic flaw is bludgeoning attacks. Such as would be done by a monk. This is because monks are very scary. Especially to Aaron – he’d come across two monks prior to becoming mythic. One nearly killed him; the other did kill him, but he had resurrection armour. So monks are scary.

Aaron, like Svetlana, is very observant. Stat-wise, Aaron’s wisdom bonus is higher and his ranger favoured enemy is humans, which often assists him further – but Svetlana has some rogue and arcane trickster abilities to balance the playing field. As an aside, Aaron’s player and I sit by the GM, whilst the other two sit at the other end of the table. This works really well: Aaron and Svetlana often notice things Alexei and Keiran don’t simply because their players aren’t paying attention.

Prior to Aaron’s arrival, the party was very much the charisma party. As an inquisitor, Chester was the closest thing we had to a fighter (hence the deus ex machina of Mr Tiddles) and he had to double as a tank as well, but even his main stat was charisma. The tiefling has opened up a few options for us: he may not be as durable as the half-orc, but he is tougher than Svetlana at least and is also more used to fighting than she or Alexei. The rogue and assassin can work well together – we both have the precise strike teamwork feat, for instance, that combines up with our sneak attack bonuses to mean we’re a pretty nasty combination when someone’s stuck between us. I like to think this is partly Aaron’s influence on her, helping develop her technique to keep her alive. Having a paladin along means Aaron is no longer the principal weapon at the party’s disposal, but his abilities in the battlefield are not to be ignored (for the avoidance of doubt, whilst he is not allowed to assassinate anyone his god has not authorised he can still kill in self-defence).

Beyond being sharp-sensed and sharp-bladed, Aaron can climb, sneak, track, steal and read other people fairly well. His Red Mantis equipment and training (in terms of how he walks, how he stands etc) means he can be pretty intimidating when needs be. He may not have the political clout of Alexei, Svetlana or even Keiran, but his leadership of the Red Mantis does give a pretty powerful (albeit morally dubious) status. He has kept quiet about this; however, killing the Blood Mistress in front of them means the party have correctly surmised his new position.

Aaron is quiet about his background; Svetlana has tried to get him drunk to get him to open up, but frustratingly he doesn’t drink. Hopefully, as their friendship grows she will be able to learn more about where he comes from.

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