Courtesans and Confidants

On May 1, 2006, Posted by , In Campaign Workbook, With No Comments

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Skilled or trained in the arts of conversation, performance, innuendo, and even battle, some companions fetch high prices for far more than mere pleasure. From the disciplined porcelain mistresses of highly appointed geisha houses to spy-as: as comely and suave as they are deadly, assassins these courtesans are masters of getting what they want, while their marks remain none the wiser.

THE FREELANCER

A young elf, barely eighty years old, Jariss Astor spends his nights wandering from dive bar to high-class club, prowling for the most raucous, decadent revels. An unabashed thrill seeker, he frequently indulges in baccaran (see page 42 of the Book of Vile Darkness, mature audiences only) to intensify his experiences.

This habit, in tandem with his sprightly form, electric personality, and fondness of the spell of the same name, gained him the nickname “Glitterdust.” Jariss has no patience for actual work and supports his addictions by what he calls ‘working the docks’.

Jariss “Glitterdust” Astor

CR 5

Male elf bard 5

CN Medium humanoid

Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Listen +2, Spot +3

Languages Common, Elven

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10

hp 20 (5 HD)

Immune sleep

Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +3 (+2 vs. enchantment)

Spd 30

Melee +1 punching dagger +4 (1d4+1/x3)

Base Atk +3; Grp +3

Special Atk bardic music 5/day (countersong, inspire competence, inspire courage +1,.fascinate)

Combat Gear dust of illusion, potion of blur

Spells Known (CL 5, +4 ranged touch)

2nd (2/day)— enthrall (DC 14), glitterdust (DC 14), sound burst

1st (4/day)— charm person (DC 13), comprehend languages, expeditious retreat, silent image

0th (3/day) — flare (DC 12), light, mage hand, message, prestidigitation, resistance

Abilities Str 11, Dex 12, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 14

SQ bardic knowledge +5

Feats Dodge, Great Fortitude

Skills Appraise +3, Balance +4, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +5, Gather Information +6, Hide +3, Knowledge (local) +5, Listen +2, Move Silently +3, Perform (comedy) +5, Perform (dance) +7, Sense Motive +4, Search +2, Sleight of Hand +5, Spot +3, Tumble +4

Possessions +1 punching dagger, potion of eagle’s splendor, 5 doses of baccaran, entertainer’s outfit, noble’s outfit, 3 smokesticks, 2 sunrods, 5 tindertwigs, 4 gp

THE PROFESSIONAL

A mistress of the famous Veiled Corridor, Viviana’s company often proves far more distressing than comforting, as the only suitor she courts is the future. Dressing in black silks, with eyes and hair dark as midnight, she seems like a shadow, half of this world and half of another. While some assert that Viviana’s portents stem from a mystical second sight, others insist they are mere chicanery. Regardless, all who can afford a reading from her fateful cards flock to her darkened salon, both eager for and dreading her words.

Viviana CR10

Female human bard 3/sorcerer 7

CG Medium humanoid

Init +0; Senses Listen +1, Spot +1

Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Infernal

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 11

hp 20 (7 HD)

Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +11

Spd 30 ft.

Melee +1 silver kukri +5 (1d4/18-20)

Base Atk +5; Grp +4

Special Atk bardic music 3/day (countersong, inspire competence, inspire courage +1, fascinate)

Combat Gear deck of illusions, wand of invisibility, potion of sanctuary (2)

Bard Spells Known (CL3, +5 ranged touch)

1st (2/day)—comprehend languages, disguise self, lesser confusion (DC 14)

0th (3/day)—daze (DC 12), detect magic, ghost sound, lullaby (DC 12), mage hand, prestidigitation

Sorcerer Spells Known (CL7, +5 ranged touch)

3rd (4/day)—suggestion (DC 17), tongues

2nd (7/day)—detect thoughts, fog cloud, locate object

1st (7/day)—charm person (DC 15), hypnotism (DC 15), identify, sleep (DC 15), ray of enfeeblement

0th (6/day)—dancing lights, flare, mage hand, message, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic

Abilities Str 8, Dex 10, Con 9, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 14

SQ bardic knowledge +4, summon familiar (viper named Bugia)

Feats Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Iron Will, Persuasive, Quick Draw, Spell Focus (enchantment)

Skills Bluff +14, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +6 (+8 to act in character), Gather Information +7, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (history) +3, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (the planes) +3, Perform (dance) +4, Perform (oratory) +12, Perform (sing) +6, Sense Motive +6, Sleight of Hand +6, Spellcraft +8, Spot +5

Possessions: +1 silver kukri, ring of protection +1, 2 potions of misdirection, noble’s outfit, masterwork fortune telling deck, 150 gp worth of jewellery, 47 gp

THE MASTERMIND

Slight of frame but exuding a presence that belies her size, Madame Ritana Cul recently took the whip as mistress of the infamous den of vices, the Porphyry House (see Dungeon #95). Short even fora halfling, the aged Madam Cul stands just over two feet tall, although her towering coiffure and the half ore twins who serve as her guards, litter bearers, and more ensure that she never wants for stature. Bolstered by her depraved faith in the demon lord Graz’zt, Cul employs a combination of blackmail, murder, and subtle charm to strengthen her dark prince’s grip on the city’s underworld.

Madame Cul CR12

Female halfling bard 12

NE Small humanoid

Init +2; Senses Listen +8, Spot +6

Languages Abyssal, Common, Elven, Halfling, Undercommon

AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 13

hp 44 (12 HD)

Fort +4, Ref +11, Will +12 (+14 vs. fear)

Spd 20 ft.

Melee dagger of venom +10/+5 (1d3+1/19-20), Ranged +1 unholy crossbow +13/+8 (1d6+1/19-20 plus unholy)

Base Atk +9; Grp +4

Special Attacks bardic music 12/day (countersong, inspire competence, inspire courage +2, inspire greatness, Fascinate, song of freedom, suggestion)

Spells Known (CL 12, +12 ranged touch)

4th (3/day)—dimension door, dominate person (DC 21), greater invisibility

3rd (4/day)—charm monster (DC 20), cure serious wounds, haste, scrying (DC 19)

2nd (5/day)—alter self, darkness, eagle’s splendor, enthrall (OC 19)

1st (5/day)—charm person (DC 17), comprehend languages, Tasha’s hideous laughter (DC 17), unseen servant

0th (4/day)—dancing lights, ghost sound, lesser confusion (DC 16), lullaby (DC 16), mage hand, message

Abilities Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 22

SQ bardic knowledge +13

Feats Dodge, Iron Will, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Shot on the Run

Skills Bluff +14, Concentration +2, Diplomacy +19, Disguise +6 (+8 to act in character), Escape Artist +7, Gather Information +14, Hide +11, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +6, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (the planes) +4, Listen +6, Move Silently +6, Perform (sing) +24, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +6, Spellcraft +8, Spot +6, Tumble +7

Possessions: dagger of venom, +1 unholy crossbow with 20 bolts, cloak of Charisma +4, ring of protection +2, ring of mind shielding, noble’s outfit, silver symbol of Graz’zt, jewelry worth 225, 38gp

Written by: F. WESLEY SCHNEIDER
Artwork by: KYLE HUNTER