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Anneke Fliegerby Jacob Skytte
"Come gather around the campfire, whelps! I will tell the tale of the Mother to you this night. It was during a winter such as this, cold and cruel, with little food and little shelter that She wandered into the camp. She was of noble bearing and bore beautiful clothes and gear of human design. Uzuk was chieftain then, and he rose from his meal, spiked club in hand. As you've been told countless times, Uzuk had recently defied Tzeluk-Khan, and he was expecting punishment. Uzuk was never too bright, he ruled by force not wit, so when he saw it was just a female, he laughed hard and loud. When the Mother heard this, a look of wrath crossed her face, and with a small flourish She called forth lightning to smite him. She then spoke to us, and told us of great danger, that Tzeluk-Khan was coming to wipe us out, and that if we wished to survive, we should follow her, and she would lead us to safer lands. Most of the tribe agreed. As soon as we had packed our belongings and were leaving, Tzeluk-Khan did appear, leading a fierce horde of warriors. The Mother turned, and summoned forth fires, creating a barrier in front of the horde. We fled quickly then, travelling for many weeks across mountains and far beyond known territory. Eventually the Mother proclaimed that we had reached our new home. She lived with us there for many years, and our camp became grand and mighty under her protection. From among the whelps, She chose seven as Her apprentices. I was among them. When we had become as Her, with powerful magics and great learning, She left us to wander the world as She had done before. She promised to return if ever the need was great enough, but the Seven have proven worthy, and we have protected you, and chosen from among you others to follow us. Now I am the last of the Seven, the eldest of our tribe, and I pass along the tale of the Mother, that you will revere Her as our savoir, and remember that She will help us if great need arises. I have spoken enough for one night. My bones ache and I am weary. I only wish could lay eyes on Her. Perhaps I will follow Her into the world, and look for her, soon."
"Now, children, come closer to the fireplace, and I will tell the sad story of Diedreck and Anneke. It was many years ago, back when we Flaems were the sole rulers of Glantri, or so the story goes. Diedreck and Anneke were husband and wife, both powerful mages who loved each other more than life itself. In those days, as now, the Ethengarians were our enemies. Seeing our glorious lands, they desired them, and cruelly wanted to wrest them from us. Now we have mighty fortifications, and soldiers, but back then nobody was spared from the fighting. It was during a great battle with the barbarian hordes that Diedreck and Anneke were separated, and Anneke found herself facing a mighty khan. Flustered by the absence of her love, she did not react in time, and the khan, with a single strike, took off her head. When the battle was won, Diedreck went out calling for Anneke, when he beheld the ghastly sight of her headless body. The head was nowhere to be found. Beside himself with grief, Diedreck used his most powerful magics to bring back his wife, believing their love would conquer all. He reincarnated her, and thus brought her back to life. Alas, through some cruel twist of fate, she returned to life as an Orc! Fearing what their kinsmen would do, should an Orc enter their town, they fled the lands of Glantri. They tried living together, but Diedreck could not overcome his revulsion at his wife's new form, so, though she loved him dearly still, he became twisted and cruel to her. Eventually one day Diedreck rose against her, screaming that she was an abomination, and that he would put things back to their natural order. Wielding a knife, he came at her with murderous intent, and gave Anneke no choice. With great pain in her heart, she called the magics of fire, which she still commanded, and burned Diedreck to ashes. Then she left to wander the world, looking for a place where she would be accepted. Maybe she still wanders, looking for that place."
The story of Diedreck and Anneke is basically true. Anneke was, however, reincarnated as a Hobgoblin, not an Orc. For centuries she has travelled the world looking for acceptance. For a while she lived with her new race, as related in the first story, but she found them too crude, and returned to the world of men. She has dwelled in many places, but she moves on in a few years if she encounters any sort of trouble or prejudice.
Anneke is of the Goblinus Grandis race, and in her natural shape is 6'4" tall, skinny, and wizened. She has grey skin, a few grey tufts of hair, small horns, a toad-like face with black lips, and protruding eyes.
However Anneke wears both a Mask of Disguise and a Cape of Disguise (from the Book of Marvellous Magic), enabling her to change her appearance and voice. She uses these to imitate her former appearance. In this form she is 6'4" tall (height cannot be changed by her magics, in real life she was shorter), slender and delicate. She appears to be somewhere in her 30s, with Flaemish features, coppery skin, and golden hair tinged with red. Her eyes are a bright green.
Anneke is a very sociable person, she likes the company of good friends, and she loves festivities. She enjoys dancing and can be very flirtatious, when she forgets herself. However, should any man make advances, Anneke will quickly become nervous and flustered, fearful that her secret should be disclosed. While she longs for romance, this is something she denies herself for fear of being rejected. She is prone to depressions if criticised, and suffers from feelings of inadequacy. Her temper is violent, however, and if pushed she is quick to anger.
Having spent most of her life on land, Anneke is unable to swim, and she has an unreasonable fear of water and drowning. She always keeps at least one Water Breathing spell memorised, and carries magic to help her if she should find herself in water. She is particular fearful of squids, and tentacled creatures in general. As a result she will try to destroy them if she encounters any, but if she seems unable to do so, she will cower and try to hide.
Her greatest fear is that her true form will be revealed, and that she will be dejected again. Thus, she goes to great lengths to ensure that nobody will suspect her true nature. She is very thorough in this, and it is always foremost on her mind. She is constantly wary of spells being cast in her vicinity, for fear that they are divinations that will reveal her.
As a Wokan Anneke has a unique approach to spell-casting. She channels her spells through a gri-gri, an exotic wand (basically a stick adorned with a rat skull, some feathers and gems). She must wave the gri-gri whenever she casts a spell. At least Anneke is spared the rituals to memorise spells, since she is literate, and carries spell books. Should she lose these, she can still memorise spells by dancing, howling and shouting, while waving the gri-gri.
Spells known (number of spells for that level): 1st level (4): Detect Magic, Light, Protection from Evil, Read Languages, Read Magic, Shield, Sleep 2nd level (4): Continual Light, Detect Evil, Detect Invisible, Invisibility, Levitate, Phantasmal Force, Web 3rd level (4): Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Fireball, Fly, Lightning Bolt, Protection from Normal Missiles, Water Breathing 4th level (4): Charm Monster, Growth of Plants, Ice Storm/Wall, Massmorph, Polymorph Self, Remove Curse, Wall of Fire 5th level (3): Animate Dead, Cloudkill, Dissolve, Hold Monster, Pass-Wall, Wall of Stone 6th level (2): Death Spell, Move Earth, Projected Image, Reincarnation, Stone to Flesh, Wall of Iron
Anneke possesses many magical items, saved up over the years. She carries most of these in a Bag of Holding. These include Potions of Fire Resistance, Healing, Longevity, and Swimming, a Ring of Protection+3, an Amulet of Protection from Crystal Balls & ESP, a Horn of Blasting, Wands of Fear and Paralysation, and a Dagger+3; +6 vs. water-breathing monsters. Mundane equipment includes garlic, holy water, a mirror, and many bottles of perfumes from all over the world.
14th level Hobgoblin, 14th level Wokan
Chaotic (Good), Str 5, Int 16, Wis 14, Dex 6, Con 7, Cha 16 (4 if revealed as a Hobgoblin), hp 36, AC 6 (Natural AC of 8, +1 Dex penalty, wearing Ring of Protection+3)