Dark One’s Blessing, Darkvision 60ft, 30ft move, resistance to fire, common & abyssal
Background: Outlander (feature: wanderer, replace athletics w/medicine, instrument prof w/herbalism kit)
2gp: Dagger (a boring-looking iron thing, actually a ritual blade)
10gp: Arcane Focus (crystal?)
5gp: Healer’s Kit
2sp: Mess Kit
40gp: Scholar’s Pack
Book of Lore (something with a hilariously cumbersome title full of arcane stuff)
Bottle of Ink
Ink Pen (a quill made from one of her own feathers)
10 sheets of parchment
5gp: Herbalism Kit
5sp: Playing Card Set (mostly used for divination)
10gp: Leather Armor
Total spent: 75gp
Redivivia is tall with striking features framed by the soft waves of her inky-black hair. Her porcelain complexion and high cheekbones suggest elven heritage, but her hourglass figure immediately betrays that she is at least partially human. The way her violet eyes cast their own subtle glow in the dark, the sharp points of her canines, those fingernails that almost look like claws—these tend to be glossed over when they’re noticed at all. A skilled demonologist might easily identify the Tiefling, but most people couldn’t even conceive of such a thing, let alone allow themselves to believe one stood before them.
Twenty-six years ago, Alenia Talbot made a terrible mistake. As the senior and most talented member of a coven of witches in the town of Westkirk, she had the dubious honor of receiving a terrible boon from the dread being they worshiped, and through ritual and sacrifice the barren woman begat the child Redivivia, cursed and marked for a terrible fate.
Alenia knew to hide her child’s nature. She kept her sharp teeth and nails filed and trimmed, plucked the feathers that grew among her hair, and kept her spade-tipped tail and disconcerting stare away from prying eyes. The coven served as both teachers and social camouflage, providing semblance and seeming of normal life. Like her mother, she was trained as an apothecary, and like her mother, she learned the dark arts under the guise of folk medicine and spiritualism. This is a fuzzy distinction for anyone, but as Redivivia (Then called Vivi) grew older, she began to really understand the depths of depravity seething just beneath the surface.
The coven grew bolder as their terrible plans began to come to fruition. In the name of the fiend they called god, they committed a string of murders and worse. The evil lurking in Westkirk boiled to the surface and the townspeople formed a mob to root it out. The coven were all killed or scattered, and it was only through sheer luck and infernal guidance that Redivivia, then only a teenager, escaped, winding a troubled path that led her ever further from the shadow of the empire.
The coven had outlived its usefulness, but the scion had not.
The Reach needs people like Redivivia—or at least it thinks it does. By turns a midwife, surgeon, hedge witch, and herbalist, she puts her considerable education and magical talents to work in small communities beyond the reach of both the Church and more formalized medical and magical professionals. By saving lives and putting minds at ease, she ingratiates herself to such an extent that nobody openly questions her needle-sharp teeth or the violet glow in her eyes. So long as she’s necessary, people look askance but don’t ask too many questions.
Still, she keeps her distance. It’s too easy to wrap them around her finger, to lure men from their wives and money from poor pockets. It feels good, too good, but it always leads to trouble, nevermind that deep down she wants to believe she’s better than that.
Currently, she lives in a little hovel in the woods about a mile outside of town, a slapdash wood and stone cabin that’s somehow stood for decades. Since her arrival two years ago, she’s fixed the place up and now it’s cluttered with her personal effects and the tools of her trade, an eclectic mix of animal bones, mementos, drying herbs, and mismatched furniture. The place always smells of some exotic incense, sticky-sweet like opium or sandalwood, but something the nose can never quite place.
HIDING THE CURSE
The demon’s blood in her veins fuels Redivivia’s magic. The secret names of her patron’s favored servants are inscribed into her bones. She is suffused with a constant, overwhelming need to indulge, to destroy, to sow discord, and has been given the body, mind, and arcane ability to make getting what she wants a trivial task. Vivid nightmares plague her when she rests—mad visions of the Abyss, the ecstacy of suffering, vile acts and glimpses of a future that must not be.
Long black feathers grow in her hair, looking almost like they’ve been added as decoration. While some do sprout from her scalp much like they would on a bird, many of them are simply intertwined in her hair and somehow an inextricable part of it. She plucks them or cuts them out whenever she can, but frequent use of her magic seems to exaggerate the visual effects of her curse. Her eyes glow brighter, the everpresent scent of sweet incense grows stronger around her, and if she really pushes it, the feathers can appear almost overnight.
FLAW/VIRTUE: Fear vs Hope
At her core, Redivivia is a coward who would do anything to survive and escape damnation for even one more day. The whispers that fill the dark around her tell her that if she’d just give in to temptation and embrace what she is, there would be a seat for her at her master’s table. Given that the alternative is an eternity of suffering, that’s a difficult offer to ignore.
Still, she has hope. More than anything else, she resents her creation, her upbringing, and the dark influences that guide her every step. She steels herself against temptation and lives alone to protect others from what she is. There’s a rash on her right hand from clutching at prayer beads that reject her. She doubts Pelor is listening and she doesn’t dare set foot in a church, but sometimes when she’s alone, she prays.
Redivivia’s traumatic upbringing and a life spent on the run from forces within and without have left her constantly on edge. She’s meticulous and cautious, generally forcing herself to be reserved and a little dour in order to maintain control. Still, she’s not at all an unpleasant person to speak to. When she speaks, she usually takes charge of the conversation, but does so with wit and charm rather than domineering bluster.
As far as politics are concerned, the current standoff gives her a region to live in that’s free of influence from either empire while still relatively safe from the predations of horrible monsters. Her upbringing and cultural background are human, but she’s been an outcast since her teenage years and has had enough close calls to understand that neither side would ever welcome her.
The pact by which Redivivia receives her arcane power isn’t one she ever made. The agreement was between her mother, the coven, and the Thing in the Abyss who now owns her soul. To her knowledge, he’s never directly made contact with her, instead speaking through intermediaries who whisper unseen at the edges of her imagination or torment her in dreams. She doesn’t even know who he is, really. There might have been whispered epithets growing up, but she was never let in on the big secret.
I have no idea who her patron should be, beyond the fact that he or she is one of the more powerful demons. It urges her to give tribute—to spill blood, to break bonds and lose control. To cause pain, to kill, to blaspheme and, most importantly, to sow chaos and evil wherever she goes.
This patron will eventually send an quasit to be her familiar (at level 3). This quasit is probably a creature she’s at least passingly familiar with, but its job will be to keep her alive, teach her magic, and urge her unto ever more dire deeds.