With the demise of "Shadows of the Cold War", Kat has taken up the mantle of GM and is prepping us for our first session of Ravenloft this evening, using an Island of Terror of her own design.
I, for one, am ecstatic. In all my years of GMing--now almost to 15!--no one has ever run Ravenloft for me. I've loved the setting for years, as it was the second D&D setting I'd ever read, but no one would run it. I've run it myself countless times, but few seem to be up to task to put together Gothic Horror with Medieval Fantasy.
That is, until now. So, without further adieu...my Ravenloft character: Nadia Ir'Ralya, burgeoning sorceress!
Name: Nadia Ir’Ralya
Location: Port-a-Lucine, Dementlieu
Parents: Unknown (both). Raised by Varrek Ir’Ralya
Friends: Camille DelaCroix (deceased), Eriol
Faith: “Gods? Are you kidding me?”
Fav. Food: Blanquette des veau over potatoes, with deep red wine.
Pastimes: Juggling, practical jokes, drinking. When alone, drawing and writing.
Party Role: Stealth and reconnaissance, social skills, raw damage potential.
Strengths: Stealth, high damage capability, high defenses, versatile skill uses.
Weaknesses: Low AC. Low physicality (negative Str).
Varrek Ir’Ralya was a “second story man” working for the Bleakers—an up-and-coming thieves’ guild in Port-a-Lucine—when he came upon something that he, to this day, has never been able to explain.
Varrek was commissioned by his Guildmaster—the enigmatic Melancholy—to break into a house in the High End. Port-a-Lucine’s High End was the most wealthy and elite district, and this house was no exception. Varrek slipped his way in and began cleaning out the lower floors. When he got to the second floor, though, Varrek had no words to describe the strangeness found there. On the floor, a married couple—still in their bedclothes—lay scorched and bleeding. Scant 5 feet away, though, a young girl of 3 years old—presumably their daughter? –lay sleeping on the floor.
Varrek was immediately faced with a feeling he rarely felt: guilt. Taking the sleeping girl with him, he looted the remainder of the house and made his way back to the Guildhouse. While the Guild Undermaster wasn’t happy with Varrek’s choice, they kept the girl around as something of a mascot at first, but later as a trainee. Nadia, as such, grew up in the absolute roughest of circumstances…and reveled in it. She proved adept at stealth and lockpicking, as well as swindling and baiting hapless men in taverns. Nadia always had an ‘exotic’ loot about her, which attracted many…and often left their purses lighter.
While Nadia enjoyed her work and her training, she had few friends. Among those few were an elf, Eriol, and another orphaned human girl, Camille. Eriol was fun, but had the typical arrogance of the Sithican elves, which made him annoying for long periods of time. Camille, though, was something different. She was wild, like Nadia, and the pair would spar in the training hall with abandon.
However, Nadia was continually haunted by strange dreams—dreams of whirling colors and oozing, amniotic seas, in which…things…swam. In the darkest of these dreams, a hideous figure would float through the sea towards her: a tatterdemalion, but one of royal bearing. A proverbial King in Rags and Tatters. She would often wake up screaming from these dreams, with no one left to comfort her.
The dreams soon became worse, over time. In fact, Nadia began to manifest sorcerer powers as the dreams compounded…which led to tragedy. Nadia, at Camille’s request, tried to keep use of the powers to a minimum—keeping them only for emergencies.
Such an emergency came as the pair, alone with Eriol, attempted to lift a supposed “religious artifact” from the vaults of Councilor Dominic D’honaire, at the request of Guildmaster Melancholy. When the trio was caught by the guards, they attempted to fight their way out, only to be vastly outnumbered. Camille, swiftly surrouned, begged Nadia to use her sorcery. Nadia summoned her mental reserves, blasting out with waves of psychic fire, consuming the guards…and Camille. Nadia shrieked, but the carpets of the vault had begun to catch fire, and Eriol was forced to pull her, still screaming, out of the manor house.
Since that day, Nadia has kept to herself. Guildmaster Melancholy has all but forced her from the ranks of the Bleakers, putting her out on the street as a liability. As such, Nadia has stowed away on the La Perle Volante, believing that a new land might give her a new start. She worries daily about her burgeoning powers and how she possibly learn to control them. She has no friends, only underworld contacts, and feels like this world has abandoned her. If there was only a way to control this raw power, any price may be worth it.