Tuesday 21 October 2014

Telina - Pathfinder Character Concept

The second of the four characters I put together for the Pathfinder interlude. I had a vague idea in the back of my mind that she might unwittingly be one of Svetlana’s half-sisters, although our GM did say he wanted these characters to be completely unrelated to our primary crew.

Also, name creation – sometimes it’s really hard to come up with a good name for a character so it’s something I’ve started to pay attention to when I find it easy. Elven first names have never been a problem for me to just invent – when I build an elf, it’s usually the first thing I have. For surnames, I tend to take a pair of words that make a traditional D&D-style elf surname, then translate into another language, usually of a Celtic root. In this case, I’ve used Welsh: Camcoedlan is intended to translate as ‘Woodstep’ and Hafallen is ‘Apple tree’. Streic is Welsh for Strike. [Quick edit to add that I've recently come across this neat link talking about ways of developing names. I like the World Builder Blog.]

Considering this is a character I’m not going to be playing, I think I may have gone a little overboard with background…

Telina Camcoedlan – Chaotic Good Elf Ranger (level 10)
Abilities: Str15, Dex20, Con13, Int18, Wis18, Cha13
Ranger: Favoured Enemy – Orc (+4), Undead (+4), Magical Beast (+2)
Favoured Terrain – Forest (+4), Plains (+2)
Hunter’s Bond – Hawk (Streic; see below)
Combat Style – Archery: Focused Shot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skill ranks: Climb 10, Handle Animal 10, Heal 10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) 10, Knowledge (geography) 10, Knowledge (nature) 10, Perception 10, Ride 7, Spellcraft 5, Stealth 10, Survival 10, Swim 8
Feats: Critical Focus, Deadly Accuracy, Evolved Companion, Nature Magic (giving Know Direction and Create Water spells as spell-like abilities), Nature Soul
Traits: Forlorn, Sacred Touch
Prepared Spells: Level 1 – Commune with Birds, Entangle, Speak with Animals
Level 2 – Eagle Eye, Wind Wall
Level 3 – Cure Moderate Wounds
Weapons: Shortspear (for emergency melee use); +2 conserving shock composite longbow; 5 hushing arrows, 10 whistling arrows, 20 standard arrows
Armour: Mithral Shirt
Magic Gear: Amulet of Natural Armour +2, Cloak of Resistance +3, Efficient Quiver, Handy Haversack, Ring of Stairs and Stars (acts as a ring of feather falling with magic missile once per day), Ring of Sustenance
Mundane Gear: Bedroll, Belt Pouch, Blanket (winter), Flint & Steel, Mess Kit, Moonrod (x5), Portable Hunting Stand, Pot, Rope, Waterskin, Wrist Sheath (spring loaded)

Appearance: Russet-brown hair, the shade of the bark of a yew tree, falls to her shoulders. She normally keeps this tied back with a strip of leather. Her large almond-eyes are the purple/grey of heavy storm clouds; her skin tanned. Most of her time is spent in the wilds, away from society and even in cities she retains a slightly feral appearance in her practical and somewhat ragged dress and highly alert posture. Once back away from the crowds her body will relax, although she retains her alertness.

Streic – Chaotic Good Hawk
Abilities: Str14, Dex18, Con14, Int2, Wis14, Cha6
Skill ranks: Fly 2, Perception 3, Stealth 1
Feats: Improved Natural Armour, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes
Tricks: Deliver, Detect, Exclusive, Fetch, Flee, Get Help, Hunt, Seek, Watch
Additional: Fire Resistance 10 (from Telina’s ‘Evolved Companion’ feat)

Appearance: An average sized buzzard at the russet end of the colour scale, her golden eyes seem to flicker with flames. 

Telina’s mother fell pregnant with Telina whilst engaged to another man and her step-father never really accepted her – especially once his own son, her half-brother, was born. Her brother (Tarathiel Hafallen) was heaped with praise – often even for things Telina had done – whilst Telina was generally ignored or criticised. Unsurprisingly, she spent as little time at home as possible, preferring to explore the surrounding woodlands alone.

It was on one of her excursions, further afield than usual, that she spotted an orc scouting party. Somewhat concerned, she followed them as though she were stalking any large beast, climbing through the trees out of their sight. After watching them make camp, she would secure herself in the branches and sleep, safe in the knowledge they would sleep longer than she as they took turns to keep watch during the night.

She was very careful as she followed them, but not careful enough. As she crept along, they split – she followed the two who remained together, figuring the third would re-join them soon. She wasn’t entirely wrong. The third – a little smaller than the other two – swung round behind to follow her and used a blunted javelin to knock her from her perch. Battered and bruised as she fell, she wasn’t in much of a state to defend herself as the orcs came to collect her. She couldn’t understand what they were saying, but knew she was in trouble as they bound her tightly using her own rope.

She tried to free herself, struggling against the bonds once they’d laid her down for the night. Despairing, she realised she was not going to get free without help or a miracle. The orc on first watch kicked the smaller orc awake before settling down. The smaller orc started pacing to wake properly for its watch. Telina’s heart pounded as she again tried to loosen herself. A thud caused her to pause; she carefully rolled herself to see the direction of the noise: an arrow protruded from the guarding orc. She could see it trying to scream, but no sound came out. Several further arrows hissed into the orc as it stumbled towards its sleeping fellows. It slumped to the ground, gasping silently. Several shaded figures ran in and slit the throats of the other two orcs before turning to Telina and cutting her free.

The group consisted of two half-elves, a human and a gnome. As the younger half-elf, Janeska, looked over Telina’s bruises, the elder, Nieral, explained they had also been following the orcs but had felt they had to interrupt when they saw Telina taken prisoner. The orcs were part of a larger band and there was concern they may be looking to move into the forest. Telina’s home was in the centre, but the half-elves and their human cousin Denise lived in Caradscomb, a village on the outskirts (Zarumat, the gnome, was wandering through and had joined the group for his own interests). They were aware the orcs had been moving from an area that had been deforested, and their hometown was concerned this forest would follow – diplomatic attempts were underway, but this wasn’t the first scouting party that had been spotted going into the forest.

Telina returned with her new friends; they taught her various tricks, including the hushed arrows they’d used to silence the guard the night they saved her and how to speak Gnome, Orc and Goblin and helped her train up a young buzzard, Streic. In return, she acted as emissary between the elves and the outlying communities. She finally started to feel accepted by not one, but two communities.

It didn’t last.

The attempts to negotiate with the orcs broke down. The orc scouting parties weren’t meant to be going into the forest, but it was noted that several didn’t make it back. The infractions became bigger, less hidden.

Telina was in Caradscomb when the orcish attack came. The mayor sent her to her hometown for assistance. With some reluctance, she left her friends and travelled as fast as she could to her family and the elven council. She explained what had happened and asked if she would be allowed to return with the battle party to help save the village.

The world fell away from Telina as council calmly explained they wouldn’t be sending anyone to help: it would just weaken the elven defences should the orcs come to them; they were capable of protecting their borders within the forest without the help of the outlying settlements; it was, quite simply, none of their business.

Livid and desperate, Telina went to the armoury and took the best bow she could pull, grabbed a quiver and handful of arrows and mithral shirt before heading back.

She arrived too late – Caradscomb was in flames and most of her friends were dead. She did what she could with the help of people from the other outlying villagers who’d come to help, but there was little to be done. Once the dead had been laid to rest and the living relocated to other villages, Telina left.

Initially, she wasn’t sure where to go, just away from the hurt. She found work as a guide, helping people as they travelled across potentially dangerous terrain. One group were undead slayers working with the Pathfinder Society. She was interested and ended up travelling with them. Joining the Pathfinders gave her purpose again, and she’s been working with them for the last few years.

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