Larsa Essinel: Dragon Assassin

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Larsa Essinel Dragon Assassin female half-elf Ranger Dragonstalker Dragon Stalker NPC Portrait D20 DND Pathfinder RPG Dungeon Magazine 118

Larsa Essinel : Dragon Assassin

When a green dragon added а small secluded elven town on the edge of a deep forest to his verdant empire, the resulting conflict proved swift and decisive. After he had taken what treasures he desired, the dragon occupied the town with a band of human mercenaries, allowing them to do as they pleased with the people and remaining possessions of the isolated community.

Larsa Essinel’s mother barely survived the dragon’s attack, giving birth months later to the half-elf child of one of the wyrm’s thugs. Raised by an embittered mother and mocked by humans and elves who despised her for her parentage, Larsa barely survived on the defeated community’s scraps. Many times, she tried to escape, but by the dragon’s mandate those of elven blood were slaves to their ruler’s soldiers and she suffered harsh punishments for her attempts. Brutal treatment at the hands of her human rulers and their rarely seen dragon master hardened Larsa, and when an escape attempt finally succeeded, she vowed to have her revenge against such creatures. In the years following, Larsa honed her hatred of dragons, and to lesser extent humans, into deadly skill. Eagerly seeking out rumors of wyrms of all types to learn more of their ways and weaknesses, one of her first discoveries was the lair of a recently slain black dragon. Although thoroughly looted, the dragon’s killers had overlooked a pair of the dragon’s young. Overcome with disgust, Larsa’s arrows quickly felled one and crippled the other.

Viewing the wounded dragon as a unique opportunity to learn more about her prey, she bound and muzzled the creature. She skinned its sibling before the dragon’s glaring yellow eyes, later having its hide crafted into a fine suit of armor. Since her initial escapades, Larsa has become known as the dragon assassin, ever following tales in search of dragons and slaying them heedless of their color, the size of their horde, or their reputation for good or evil. The only dragon she tolerates is her captive Sslyst, the name she’s given the black wyrmling (a variant of the elven word for “worm’). Although the half-crazed dragon despises her with a fervour few mortals could comprehend, Larsa takes every opportunity to promise Sslyst that should he disobey her, he’ll join his sister as part of the dragon assassin’s wardrobe. Together with her animal companion, а dire bat called Wyrmblood, Larsa continues to satisfy her unending lust for the blood of all dragons by seeking them out and destroying them wherever they hide.

Her greatest dream remains to become skilled enough to face the green dragon that still rules her homeland; not out of any weak sentimentality for the place, but rather to see its draconic lord cower before her as she did so many times before it.

Larsa Essinel APPEARANCE

Larsa Essinel might be considered beautiful if not for her eyes. Many people say that one can pick out murderers by the cold hardness in their pupils. As Larsa’s prey are among the most powerful and breath-taking creatures in existence, the stony, hate-filled chill that infuses her implacable gaze makes all but the most callous look away. A fair-skinned blonde by nature, the scars and burns of a hundred battles mar her elven flesh, and each time she kills a dragon she uses the fresh blood to dye her hair, turning it shockingly red.

But besides her physical appearance, Larsa is perhaps best recognized by her armor: an ornate suit of studded leather, mottled and scaled in the same way as the black dragon she slaughtered to make it.

Larsa Essinel TACTICS

To Larsa’s mind, the concept of honor is synonymous with a quick death. Knowledgeable in the defenses and locations of dragon lairs, she prefers to sneak close to her draconic prey and attack from the shadows, her initial shots often driving younger dragons into flight. In such cases, she eagerly mounts and makes use of her dire bat animal companion’s speed to press her attack.

Against older dragons or more powerful foes, Larsa often enlists hired help to enter her prey’s lair before her. While her supposed allies are slaughtered, she usually has enough time to make several attacks against her foe.

Larsa Essinel DEVELOPMENT

If faced with a dragon, a party of adventurers could hope for few more potent allies than Larsa Essinel. If they weather her largely antisocial behavior and her singleminded passion for the kill, their prey is practically as good as dead. On the other hand, good dragons have as much to fear from Larsa as evil ones. A party may find themselves standing between the dragon assassin and her prey, where even the most convincing words and tempting bribes do little to dissuade her.

Larsa might even approach a band of adventurers to join her in hunting her current prey. While she might offer a king’s ransom for their service, the dragon assassin only has to pay those that survive, and her tactics rarely consider any but her own survival. It’s even said that those she hires that do outlive their prey often meet with unfortunate accidents soon after their unlikely survival.

Larsa Essinel, female halfelf ranger 8, dragonstalker** 6

CR 14; Medium humanoid; HD 11d8; hp 66; Init +5, Spd 30 ft; AC 24, touch 18, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +14; Grp +15

Atk +16 melee (1d8+1/19-20, masterwork longsword) or +15/+15/+15 ranged (1d6+2/x3),+1 bane vs. dragons composite shortbow using Manyshot) or +21 ranged (1d6+2/x3, +1 bane vs. dragons composite shorthow,

Full Atk +16/+11/+6 melee (1d8+1/19-20, masterwork longsword) or +19/+19/+14/+9. ranged (1d6+2/x3, +1 bane vs. dragons composite shortbow with Rapid Shot)

SA archery improved combat style, favored enemy (dragons) +4, favored enemy (humans) +2, ignore natural armor, sneak attack (dragon) +6d6
SQ animal companion, hide scent, hunting bonus, swift tracker, wild empathy +8, woodland stride;

AL CN; SV Fort +10, Ref +18, Will +11; Str12, Dex 20, Conn, Int13, Wis 15, Cha 10.

Skills: Bluff +35*, Diplomacy +2, Disguise+3, Gather Information +6, Hide +22, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (nature) +3, Listen +8*, Move Silently +22, Ride +9, Search +8*, Spot +17*, Survival +19.

Feats: Blindfight, Endurance, Improved Critical (shortbow), Manyshot, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Rapid Shot”, Track, Weapon Focus (short bow),

Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven,

Hunting Bonus (Ex): *Larsa gains a bonus. equal to her dragonstalker class level on Bluff, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks when using these skills against dragons

Sneak Attack (Dragon) (Ех): Any time a dragon would be denied its Dexterity bonus to armor, Larsa’s attack deals an extra 6d6 points of damage. This ability functions exactly as a rogue’s sneak attack ability, except that it only affects dragons and flanking does not allow her to use this ability.

Ignore Natural Armor (Ex): Once per day, Larsa can ignore а target’s natural armor bonus (including any enhancement to that natural armor) for one attack (melee or ranged).

Hide Scent (Ex): Larsa can use the Disguise skill to hide her (or someone else’s) scent. This requires a Disguise check (with no penalty) opposed by a Wisdom check made by any creature attempting to use the scent ability to discover her presence. Hiding her scent requires twice as long as a typical Disguise check (1d3x20 minutes), and the effect lasts for 1 hour per class level, Magic that alters Larsa’s form doesn’t affect this Disguise check.

Ranger Spells Prepared (caster level 4): 1st —resist energy, speak with animals; 2nd —protection from energy.

Possessions: Masterwork longsword, dagger, 1 dragon slaying arrow, +1 bane vs. dragons composite shortbow, +3 black dragoncraft studded leather armor*, cloak of resistance +2, ring of protection +3.

Wyrmblood, Dire Bat Animal Companion: hp 30, Monster Manual**

Sslyst, Black Dragon Wyrmling: hp 30, Monster Manual 70.

*Dragoncraft armor is detailed on page 117 of the Draconomicon. This particular suit of armor grants acid resistance 5.

*The dragonstalker prestige class first appeared in the Draconomicon.

BY F. WESLEY SCHNEIDER
ILLUSTRATION BY WAYNE REYNOLDS