Company of the Meatshield
Fire Knives' Assassin/Illusionist
Resistance to sleep and Charm: 30% (If fail, still have chance to save)
33% chance of spotting a secret door (roll 1 or 2 on a d6)
50% chance of spotting a concealed door (role 1-3 on a d6)
Strength: 17 [ 3 rxn; 1 hp]
Hit Points: 21
Backstab: +4 to hit on all surprise and double damage on backstab (must be melee).
Pick pockets: 50% (If roll 71 or greater, target is aware of failed attempt)
Open Locks: 50%
Find/remove traps: 25%
Move silently: 25%
Hide in shadows: 25%
Hear noise: 10%
Climb walls: 85%
Read languages: n/a%
Spells: Level 1: 3; Level 2: 2
Cantrips: Colored Lights; Dim; Haze; Mask; Mirage; Noise; Rainbow; Two-D’lusion
Level 1: Change Self; Color Spray; Darkness; Detect illusion; Detect Invisibility; Light; Phantom Armor; Read illusionist Magic; Wall of Fog
Level 2: Alter Self; Blindness; Blur; Detect magic; Fog Cloud; Hypnotic Pattern; Improved Phantasmal Force; Invisibility; Misdirection
Level 3: Continual Darkness; Dispell Illusion; Hallucinatory Terrain; Fear; Rope Trick; Spectral Force; Wraith Form
Level 4: Confusion; Massmorph; Shadow Monsters
Armor: AC: 6 (4)
Weapons: Long Sword + 1 (+1d4 venom) (1d8; 1d12)
Light Cross bow (1d4) 30 bolts
Fire Knife Dagger (1d4;1d3)
Venom Dagger +1 (-36 hp/-18 if save vs Poison)
Cloak of Elvenkind: +2 AC in forests; 99% move silent; Pass without trace; impervious to cold
Oil Flasks (3)
Poison: B-type [-25 hp/0 if save] (5); Unknown type (5)
Spell components (30)
Iron rations (5 days)
Money: 40 gp; 50 cp
• Aros was found floating among some debris at the mouth of the river into Skull Port as a youth. He was unconscious and when he awoke he remembered nothing of his life not even his name. For Aros, the people who found him couldn’t have been a more horrible group of brigands. They promptly sold him into the Rat Race.
• Nameless and alone he was thrust into training. One of his captors, a scar-faced pirate of a man named the half-elf boy ‘Aros Skullport’ after hearing the story of where he was found.
• Life was hard for the half-elf who had to train endlessly but he was able to survive the Rat Race while many of his fellow youth did not. The Race in those days was not such a formalized business and so one night after about a year or two into training and running the race, Aros was able to make his escape. He headed down the river back into Skull Port. He set into town with his freedom, but he learned that freedom is a relative term. Aros became a pick pocket and petty thief racing through the back alleys of Skullport, hiding from the Skulls, and stealing whatever he couldn’t afford, which was everything.
• One day in town he slipped the money pouch off a nasty brute only to recoil with a gasp. This was one of the brigands that sold him to the races! Aros set off to follow him and learned that the man’s name was Jaakko or Jaakko the Jerk. They had their own small time gang called the Whisps and Jaakko was one of the leaders. Aros wanted his revenge and planned for it. He was able to tip off the Skulls on Jaakko who was then arrested and severely beaten. Jaakko the Jerk had a double meaning after that. His was beaten so badly he had a jerky eye spasm as a permanent reminder.
• Life wasn’t easy, but it was better than the races and another year passed before the Skulls closed in on him.
• Captured by the Skulls he was given to the slavers and after some hard labor on the docks and several scars across his back from the slaver’s whips he was sold off to the highest bidder. In a stroke of luck, his life improved significantly. He was sold to noble who took an interest in the half-elf, but not in the creepy sort of way you hear about in the slave trade. He wanted to know all about Skullport and the secrets that only a pickpocket would know about. Aros shared all he could. Showing loyalty to his owner, Dariush Harms, the half-elf was introduced into the Fire Knives. He demonstrated some smarts aside from knowing the streets and Dariush introduced him to the world of illusions.
• He trained with Dariush for several years and learned the ways of the illusionist, but always within Skullport. He was a good illusionist using his skills for criminal activities. When he wasn’t learning he was running errands for the Fire Knives. He was helping them establish a foothold in Skull Port. A little accident here, some spying there, and the occasional back alley stabbing. Aros was making a name for himself in the criminal world and he liked it.
• He soon learned that the Fire Knives cut a deal with some outsider force. It promised a good return. The FK would take over Skullport, take charge of Waterdeep too.
• He was around this time that Dariush was killed. Was it the Slavers or an inside job? Aros started to question and nose around. Whoever these outsiders were, they were a strange and sinister evil. It didn’t feel right. Sure, Aros wasn’t a Cleric of Torm or innocent by any means, but this felt like a fundamental kind of evil and it seemed to awaken the elven side of him. He questioned and determined couldn’t be part of this. It was time for him to leave Skull Port, but leaving the FK wasn’t easy. Was it a defection? Aros couldn’t say for sure, but if he wasn’t careful it would be a death sentence…
• Aros spent the majority of his life as a slave either in the Rat Race or on the docks and around pirate ships in Skullport. He hates the very idea of slavery and will work to free slaves, kill slavers and slave owners. He is strongly opposed to the mistreatment of the weak and young people.
• He will stand up for those unable to defend themselves; he will stop bullying when he sees it, but likely in an indirect manner.
• As a petty thief, he has no qualms stealing from the rich and powerful who usually take more than they need and waste their money anyway.
• Aros is also very generous and will donate a portion of his thieving to the homeless, which may be a tenant of following Mask.
• Illusionist magic was his escape from slavery and it is important to him, but only as a means to an end; he does not have high aspirations to learn magic.
• He has a strong desire to see the natural world. He finds himself, for reasons he doesn’t understand, very protective of nature and its animals. He would be driven into a rage to see the wanton destruction of the forest and its creatures.
• As a Fire Knife, he learned to assassinate and understands poisons and how to kill quietly and efficiently. He has no qualms carrying out assassinations for money, revenge, or for a purpose he identifies with. Figures that are assassinated are almost always the powerful, the vile, and the corrupt. Aros feels no sympathy for them. He will not assassinate those he feels are the innocent. He will charge 50% upfront for an assassination. The rate is dependent on the mark.
• Under Dariush Harms, he learned about religion. Dariush was also a Maskarran (cleric of Mask). So while Aros was never a cleric, he was a follower of the ways. The central message that he accepted: Subtlety is everything and trust in the shadows. Aros will make a short prayer when the shadows approach their apex.
• Aros also calls on Tymora because sometimes all you have is luck.
• He has no aspirations for leadership and prefers the shadows to the spotlight; he is very loyal to those that have shown him courteousness. He will never beg for help, and if you are inhospitable to him, he will return the favor when it counts.
• Presently he is driven to avenge Dariush’s death and disrupt the Fire Knives after learning they made a pact with demonic forces.
• Is fundamentally different from the magic user, but it some of the spells may appear similar. The source of magic from a wizard comes from the infernal realms tapping into the essence of demons and planar creatures. This form of magic is more tangible and can have direct and devastating impacts.
• Illusionist magic gets its power from the energies of light and sound and its manipulation across the prime material plane. Illusionists can tap into the essence of energy across different planes of existence to temporarily create illusions of varying degrees of substance. After the prime material plane, exceptional illusionists use the planes of shadow to draw energy creating monsters, traveling across great distances, and creating semi-real illusions. In some respects, their magic is closer to druidical magic than clerics or magic users, but rather than drawing magic from nature they draw magic from the foundational energies of the material and shadow planes.
• Illusionist magic appears to be the weakest magic of all, but it can have shocking impacts on those who no longer can distinguish the illusion from reality including injury and death.
• Time and space can all be augmented within the illusion so the only limitation is the imagination of the illusionist.
1. Sherlyn Spearslayer and Sylvester (Maaril’s door man) are members of the Red Sashes, a group of vigilantes that operate in secret in Waterdeep (and along the Sword Coast) and often oppose what they would consider the tyranny of the Lords of Waterdeep.
2. Sherlyn and Sylvester (who’s name is actually Sebastien and who does not actually speak with a slobbering lisp) helped you escape from the Slave Lord’s holding pens (guarded by the Skulls) and gave you a safe house to hold up. At the safe house you are attended by a small, contorted young man (he has a prominent twist to his spine and a hump) who appears vaguely elven, in the same way that Brother Sujoi did. His name is Eelis and he makes sure you are fed and watered and has been running errands for you guys and Sherlyn. Unfortunately the safe house doesn’t have a bathroom so you guys have to make frequent visits to a seedy tavern (The Wicked Coin – the proprietor is a dwarf that goes by the name Coin) a few doors down from the safe house. This place is seedy even by Skull Port standards and it houses the dregs of humanity.
3. Sherlyn and Sebastien have been forced to remain with the party as well since the Skulls have locked down the primary means of getting out of Skull Port quickly.
4. Sebastien is the resident Red Sash authority on the Fire Knives. Unbeknownst to Maaril and Audra, Sebastien has been tampering with the poisons that Maaril sells to the Fire Knives and is diluting it; making it less effective.
5. Sherlyn has been investigating mysterious groups that have been popping up in and around Waterdeep and her investigation, courtesy of you guys, has led her to the Fire Knives and the possible role they may have in getting the goblinoid forces into Waterdeep, the reason that she is down here. She was also investigating the Cult of the Black Flame.
Rumours and things to Note that you’ve heard since you’ve been laying low in the safe house:
1. The maze that hosted the Rat Race has been destroyed (your doing)
2. Something horrible happened in Waterdeep a few nights ago and there is a curfew. Movement above in Waterdeep, even if the Skulls didn’t have Skull Port locked down, is also effectively locked down – shipments still go up but rarely and with large hosts of “guards”
3. The Slave Lords have actually been vocal about finding a way to support Waterdeep against the goblinoid army.
4. One of the Slave Lords (Brother Sujoi) was murdered by escaping slaves (i.e. you guys – or more specifically Cecil)
5. The Slave Lords and the Skulls are determined to capture the slaves and send a message to anyone else that thinks of escape – i.e. expect a horrible death preceded by torture if you guys are caught again. Don’t get caught!
6. Audra has disappeared.
7. Balar Ironcock (i.e. Flint’s father is desperate to get out of here – he’s got the gambler’s itch and he’s getting very owly)
8. Because travel above is limited due to the Skulls tightened security, the Gladiatorial events are booming (Balar is desperate and not even slightly discrete about wanting to get out and gamble on the events)
9. Several of the nobles that were attending the Rat Race have been “sold” into slavery.
10. It’s pretty common knowledge that the son of the Grandmaster of the Fire Knives is tempting fate by visiting the City of Splendours, there have already been a couple of attempts on his life. Freelance assassins are heading to Waterdeep, risking getting caught by the Skulls, in order to claim the bounty on his head (i.e. Cecil’s)
You have also picked up the following re: the Gangs of Skull Port:
1. The politics of Skullport are always on a knife’s edge.
2. The town is broken into different sphere’s of influence (rather than specific districts) and certain types of activities are predominantly run by different gangs. The heads of these gangs often compete for control over different activities and gang wars are not uncommon.
3. The largest and most dominant gang is the Skulls – they keep everyone else in check. But under them, the other gangs are in constant flux in terms of their level of power.
The Skulls – Slavery and Smuggling (shipping up and down the Sword Coast as well as transport UP to Waterdeep using the sewers) – Most other gangs use and pay for these services
The Ladies – Alchemy, general reagents/components (sulphur, mandrake root, etc.) and drugs/poisons (Maugh is a member), formerly held all contracts for assassinations in Skullport and Waterdeep
The Horrors – Gladiatorial events and the rental and sale of “monsters” for various reasons (if you need a Carrion Crawler to devour some corpses in your cellar, contact The Horrors)
The Rabbits – Brothels (all of the brothels in Waterdeep owe a cut to the Rabbits), Spies/Sedition (a network of spies for collecting information and spreading false information, etc.), Gambling
The Fire Knives – Assassinations (New – taken from The Ladies recently)
The Golden Dawn – Purveyors of exotics/artifacts
The Diggers – Control the flow of corpses (human and demi-human) and “parts” for various purposes (if a murdered victim is missing an organ, they will find out about it and make sure the person that took the organ pays for circumventing them)
Basically, if there is anything untoward or illegal happening in Waterdeep, it’s because it has been co-ordinated either directly or indirectly through the gangs in Skullport.