Drow Paladin -- Ola's PC
Drow Paladin, level 3. HP: 28 ; AC: 18 ; speed: 30 ft. NG.
Str: 10 ; Dex: 16 ; Con: 14 ; Int: 10 ; Wis: 10 ; Cha: 16.
Saves: Wis & Cha.
Skills: Deception, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Stealth.
Passive Perception: 12.
Languages: Common, Elven, Undercommon.
Weapons & Armor: +1 glamoured studded leather armor, shield, rapier, light crossbow.
Equipment: explorer’s pack, dark clothes with hood, thieves’ tools, crowbar, 1 alchemist’s fire, 1 potion of healing, oil of sharpness.
Born to the old drow house Kenlolth (literally “sworn to Lolth”), Ardulice is the eldest living daughter of and heir to Ardularra Kenlolth, the house matriarch and fierce follower of Lolth. Sure that the other gods have imprisoned Lolth, leading to her faded influence and the subsequent decline of drow society, Ardularra and the rest of house Kenlolth have spent the last generations searching for ways to free Lolth and restore the drow to their former glory (with their house at the helm, of course).
Though Ardulice often felt out of place in the web of violence and subterfuge that shrouded her house, she dutifully trained to become the next matriarch, showing skill in both combat and politics. Most important to her, however, was her younger brother, Kronar. Sickly from birth, Kronar was neglected by his mother and most of the family. Ardulice, though, cared for him and loved him without abandon, often entertaining him with card games and dancing lights. As he grew, he remained physically weak, but adored his older sister and showed a much kinder and gentler demeanor than typical for most drow.
One fateful morning (though who can tell the time of day underground), when Ardulice was not yet an adult and Kronar was still just a child, a surface-dweller’s party broke into their ersatz village to free a group of non-drow slaves, just yesterday brought to the Underdark. Amid the screams and shouts, Ardulice quickly barricaded the door to the room she and her brother were in and tried to comfort the trembling child, distracting him with dancing lights with one hand while surreptitiously readying a dagger in the other.
Soon, however, the door was forced open and surface-dwellers swarmed in, firing arrows around the room. One struck Kronar and he cried out in pain. Incensed, Ardulice leapt from her place with a snarl and swung her dagger at the nearest man, but before he could react, a woman’s voice rang out. “Stand down.”
A beautiful elf in gilded armor and a horned helm stepped forward, glowing for a moment with a light not unlike the sun’s, making Ardulice’s eyes water. Dazed, she lowered her weapon.
“Can you not see they are just children?” the elf demanded of the group. Ignoring the embarrassed mumbling and shuffling of the soldiers, she strode forward to the whimpering Kronar. Ardulice rushed to his side, quickly conjuring her lights again in an effort to distract him, and, as she gently as she could, worked the arrow out of Kronar’s leg. The she-knight gave a faint smile, then placed her hands on Kronar’s wound. After a moment, the rent flesh knitted itself back together and Kronar’s breathing eased as Ardulice watched in amazement.
The knight stood and Ardulice scrambled to rise with her. “Thank you,” she said haltingly, in her accented Elvish.
The knight smiled and placed a hand on Ardulice’s shoulder. “I see a light in you; protect it.” She then turned and announced to her companions, “As you can see, our friends are not here. Onward!” They followed her out of the room, no longer interested in the two young drow huddled in the corner.
Ardulice later learned that the elf was Valanthe Caladil, a paladin sworn to uphold the light in the world. Her group had liberated many of the non-drow slaves in her house and the neighboring houses, and Caladil’s name was spat with a curse for many months to come. Still Ardulice quietly cherished Valanthe’s mercy, and she found herself changed, protective of what little happiness she could find in her dark home, intent on changing what she could of the viciousness and cruelty that surrounded her.
A few years later, soon after Ardulice entered adulthood, word reached her ears that some of the scholars of house Kenlolth proposed that the key to freeing Lolth from her god-imposed prison was to sacrifice a drow of noble blood on the family altar. The realization of the danger this theory posed to Kronar was immediate; she, as the favored heir, was safe, while Kronar was auxiliary to the success of the family. However, were she to leave, Ardularra’s only remaining child would be Kronar, which might keep him safe…
Within the week, she packed her things, bid farewell to her brother with a promise that her departure would keep him safe, and struck out to the surface in search of the only person she thought might help: Valanthe Caladil. She hoped that, with some training from Valanthe, she might be able to come retrieve her brother and wreak vengeance on those who would hurt him.
She did not expect to be so struck by the beauty of the surface world, the openness and vividness of it, and she was immediately enamored by its colors, its smells, its sounds and songs. She now understood Valanthe’s words to her at their meeting, and knows that she is destined to protect not only her own light, but the light in those around her.
So far, she has not had much luck in finding Valanthe, but endeavors to uphold Valanthe’s ideals — now her own — when she can. Both the sunlight and the reluctance of surface dwellers to interact with a drow have proven difficult to work around, but she is convinced that if she can prove herself, both obstacles will bend before her.
Ardulice has typically angular drow features, with white hair, silver eyes, and dark skin, and even surface dwellers have to admit to a particular exotic grace she possesses. Her most treasured possessions are the holy symbol she has purchased that matches Valanthe’s — a sun coming out of an eclipse — and the deck of cards with which she entertained her brother.
Personality traits: magnetic, so brooding, has a soft spot for children.
Ideals: kindle/shelter/preserve/be the light, redemption for herself and her race.
Bonds: Kronar (love/responsibility), Ardularra (anger/resentment), Valanthe (admiration).
Flaws: snobbish/superior (she is a drow, after all), distrustful.
- Ardulice is pronounced Ar-doo-lih-see.
- Ardularra means “blessed queen,” while Ardulice means “borne of blessings” and Kronar means “sickly ghost.” (Shit, with that name, you’re dooming the kid from the get-go. THANKS, MOM.)
- Ardulice is not Ardularra’s eldest child, but she and Kronar are her only surviving children; the others perished in an earthquake that destroyed their previous home. Ardularra is nearing the end of her childbearing age.