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Belcadiz NPCsby Jennifer Guerra
Celestina de Rosas
Don Cristobal Narciso Mendoza
Celestina de Rosas
Celestina is a mid-level priestess at the Temple of La Señora del Valour (Lady of Valour), the main temple of Valerias in the Principality. A dedicated and devout young elf, Celestina came to the Temple after a childhood spent in a home dominated by her cruel, austere aunt. After one final night of strife in her 101st year, Celestina ran away to Nuevo Alvar. Cold, hungry, and desperate, she stumbled into the brightly-lit Temple in the middle of a dedication service. She was awed by the strong devotion of the priests and followers alike, and the powerful chants and passionate invocations awakened a yearning for such feelings in her suppressed heart. Tears in her eyes, Celestina approached the high priest after the service and petitioned to be admitted as an acolyte. Since that night, Celestina has rapidly risen through the ranks of the priesthood; she is not particularly ambitious, but rather feels driven to pursue higher and higher levels of emotion, beauty, and pleasure.
In the past year, the high priests have been pleased that Celestina has expressed interest in attending state functions with them (as their aide). She has excelled in her court etiquette to the extent that she has even been invited to attend the Princesa privately with them.
But there is a darker purpose behind Celestina's interest in affairs of state: Celestina is a spy. Lured into the treacherous Thyatian intelligence circle by her lover, Thyatian ambassador to Glantri Antiochus Dragases, Celestina gathers sensitive information on Princess Carnelia when she attends on the Princesa with her superiors. She is terrified of being caught and expelled from the order, but has experienced dreams of such powerful sensuality and pleasure involving Antiochus that she is convinced she is somehow serving Valerias in her treachery. After all, Valerias is a patroness of Thyatis as well. . .
Celestina is a young Belcadiz elf, with long, dark hair and scintillating black eyes. Her beauty is exceptional even for an elf maid of her clan. She speaks in a low, sensual voice, and weighs her words carefully. She is quick to smile, quick to laugh, and quick to seduce the unwary. Celestina is often seen at duels, especially those being fought over affairs of the heart.
Celestina de Rosas (ef C7 of Valerias): AC 10, hp 28, STR 8, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 13, WIS 10, CHA 17. AL CG. Dmg 1d4+1 (dagger +1). Spells: Note: Glantrian clerics will only use their spells if they are certain of not being detected.
Level One - Bless, Command, Ceremony
Level Two - Charm Person or Mammal, Detect Charm, Enthral
Level Three - Magical Vestment, Prayer
Level Four - Tongues
Don Cristobal Narciso Mendoza
Son and heir of a minor Belcadiz noble, Narciso (as he likes to be called) is the life of the Nuevo Alvarran social scene. A preening socialite, Narciso is always "in the right": the right clothes, the right crowd, the right events. Although he trained at the Great School of Magic as a young elf, Narciso ran away from home after an argument with his father when he was 120. After years spent on his own in Darokin, living hand-to-mouth as a labourer, he finally came home. His contrite father showered him in luxury, and Narciso has not lifted a finger since.
Despite his outlandish appearance, however, Narciso is no fool; his story of his years of labour in Darokin are a lie, meant to hurt his domineering father. Narciso, not wanting to follow his father into politics, ran away to become an adventurer in the steps of his famous cousin, Saul Mendoza (see the Magical Items section of this Gazetteer). He had a successful career, and once even helped slay a black dragon in the Silver Sierras.
Narciso secretly spends many of his nights not "party-hopping" (the chaotic nature of which gives him a perfect cover story), but riding with Don Diego de Belcadiz, the Princesa's brother. Don Diego is the masked hero "Manuel," who travels the Belcadiz countryside in defence of the lower classes. He has been known to rob corrupt officials and return the money (usually extorted funds) to the poor. Narciso became Diego's partner years ago, after defeating "Manuel" in a midnight duel and ripping off his mask. Narciso's alter ego is "El Oscuro" ("the Dark One"), a black-clad avenger of the downtrodden.
Narciso is a dashing young elf with curly black hair and a quick, impish smile. He is always seen out and about in only the most fashionable attire from Glantri City. In his guise as "El Oscuro," he dresses in black leather from head to toe, hiding his identity with a heavy back mask.
Don Cristobal Narciso Mendoza ("El Oscuro") (em F10/M7): AC 9 (ring +1)/7 (as El Oscuro; ring +1, leather), hp 60. STR 13, DEX 16, CON 12, INT 13, WIS 15, CHA 14. AL CG. Damage by weapon, 1d6+1 (rapier +1), or spell.
Level One - Filth's Bane, Draw Forth the Truth, Remove the Instrument of Death, Magic Missile
Level Two - Finery and Freshness, Rope Trick, Speed
Level Three - Torrent of Death, Fireball
Level Four - Strike of Doom/Eluding the Death Blow
"The Equaliser" is a master assassin from Nouvelle Averoigne. His real name is Abelard Fouquet; he is a distant relation of the d'Ambreville family. Fouquet is a master of disguise and intrigue. He is also an expert at brewing poisons, having apprenticed long ago at the alchemists' craft. However, should he not be able to get close enough to his quarry to deliver the lethal dose, Fouquet is just as capable with the dagger or crossbow. Unlike most assassins, though, Fouquet has not hardened his heart to his profession, caring only for the gold he earns. Rather, he only takes assignments which he "believes in," interviewing potential employers first as to their motivations. Only those cases about which he feels strongly will he accept. (Among those "in the know," the saying has become, "If you get him, you know you really need him.") Fouquet actually believes that by limiting his services in this way, he is doing "good," eliminating the evildoers in society who would prey on the powerless. His nickname, "the Equaliser," reflects this belief.
Fouquet is a regular retainer of La Centinela. As one of Los Cazares, Fouquet has eliminated mages (typically necromancers) and priests whom the Elders of La Centinela see as a threat.
Two years ago, Fouquet was approached by a Centinela Brother; a young woman had made contact with one of their operatives, asking for help for her home town. Bodies had been stolen from the local cemetery, and a missing person had just been found - he had been dismembered. Residents suspected that the local mage was, in fact, a necromancer, but they were afraid to confront the man. The area's lord was apathetic to the situation, and may have been under the mage's control.
Fouquet travelled to the town, and interviewed the young woman, Janelle, as well as other townspeople. The assignment perfectly suited his ideals; he took it immediately, and began to "stake out" the mage. It took time for Fouquet to learn the mage's pattern of behaviours, his habits, social schedule, and the nature of security at his tower. In that time, he also ingratiated himself to the local lord as a wealthy merchant looking to set up shop in the area. Behind the scenes, he and Janelle grew closer, and fell deeply in love. She understood his ideals and values, and even accepted his choice of profession. So immersed was Fouquet in love with Janelle that he sometimes had a difficult time concentrating on the matter at hand. But he proceeded.
Finally, the time was right for Fouquet to spring his trap. At a dinner with his "friend" the lord, he slipped a deadly but slow-acting poison into the mage's cup. When dinner was through, he went home to Janelle and waited for the inevitable news in the morning. But morning came and the mage still lived. Fouquet panicked; what had happened? Had he been found out?
Later that day, Fouquet was invited to dine with the lord. With a feeling of deepest dread in the pit of his stomach, he went. But nothing out of the ordinary happened during dinner. Fouquet arrived home to find Janelle hanging just inside the doorway, dead. The house was bathed in blood; she had been skinned alive.
Fouquet went mad with grief and rage. He killed the mage and the lord that night, and none too quickly. In the mage's tower, he found evidence that he had belonged to a society of necromancers. Fouquet swore to eliminate every last member. He has spent the remaining two years doing just that; hunting down members of Glantri's Secret Craft of Death Mastery (Necromancy).
Fouquet has recently learned, from a confidential Centinela contact, that the head of the Necromancers' society may be none other than Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany of Boldavia. The Brother, who seemed to know more than he was telling, warned Fouquet against pursuing Morphail. But vengeance burns in Fouquet's blood, and he will not be able to postpone making his move much longer. . .
Abelard Fouquet, "the Equaliser," is a human male of thirty-five to forty years. Handsome and charming, he is at home in any noble manor with his impeccable manners and knowledge of many languages. Since Janelle's murder, however, Fouquet is no longer seen in noble circles; rather, he spends his days stalking necromancers of the Secret Craft. His hair has gone grey at the temples, and dark circles fill the hollows under his eyes.
Abelard Fouquet ("L'égaliseur") (hm T20, assassin): AC 5 (ring +3, cloak +2), hp 65. STR 13, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 13, WIS 15, CHA 16. AL CN.
Damage: By weapon: 1d4+2 (dagger), 1d6+2 (crossbow, quarrels +2). Both weapons are tipped in poison, as he wishes; victim must save vs. poison or die in 1d4 rounds. A successful save equals 5d4 points of damage.
Thief Abilities: Pick Pockets 65; Open Locks: 95; Find/Remove Traps 80; Move Silently 95; Hide in Shadows 95; Detect Noise 75; Climb Walls 95; Read Languages 55; Backstab x5.
Known Magical Items: Ring of protection +3, Cloak of Protection +2, Dagger of Homing, Quarrels +2, Elven Boots, Rope of Strangling