Here we go!
Esterra Molotva: Shadow-Walker Mountain spirit-folk rogue 3/fighter 1/shadow-thief of amn 2/telflammar shadowlord 4; CR 11; Medium humanoid; HD 9d6 plus 1d10; hp 43; Init +6; Spd 30 ft; AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +7; Grp +10; Atk +12 melee (1d6+5/18-20, The Duelist, +2 Medium rapier), +11 melee (1d6+4/18-20, +1 Medium rapier), +12 melee (1d4+5/19-20, +2 Tiny dagger), +15 ranged (1d4+5/19-20, +2 Tiny dagger); Full Atk +12/+7 melee (1d6+5/18-20, The Duelist, +2 Medium rapier), +11/+6 melee (1d6+4/18-20, +1 Medium rapier), +12/+7 melee (1d4+5/19-20, +2 Tiny dagger), +15 ranged (1d4+5/19-20, +2 Tiny dagger); SA sneak attack +3d6; SQ giant type, troll-blooded, cold pseudo-vulnerability, fire pseudo-vulnerability, acid pseudo-vulnerability, shadowsight 60', light blindness, evasion, search for traps, uncanny dodge (Dex bonus to AC), spells, spell-like abilities, shadow jump 80', shadow blur, shadow pounce, shadow walk, shadow-walker traits, mountain spirit-folk traits; AL CN; SV Fort +4, Ref +18, Will +4; Str 16, Dex 22, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 15.
Skills and Feats: Balance +10, Bluff +20, Climb +25, Diplomacy +18, Disguise +12 (using her hat of disguise), Escape Artist +11, Gather Information +5, Hide +29, Intimidate +9, Jump +20, Move Silently +25, Perform (sing) +5, Sense Motive +7, Sleight of Hand +15, Spot +7, Tumble +23; Blind-Fight, Dodge, Mobility, Persuasive, Scoundrel's Luck, Spring Attack.
Giant type: As a result of a magical ritual which restored her to life, Esterra is treated as having the Giant as opposed to the Humanoid type. This grants her low-light vision, proficiency with all simple and martial weapons (as well as any natural weapons), and the Giant tongue. This also subjects her to any effects which bolster or impede giants, as well as to any benefit a character may have against giants (for example, a ranger's favoured enemy bonus).
Troll-blooded: As a result of a magical ritual which restored her to life, Esterra is treated as a troll for the purposes of any effects which bolster or impede trolls, as well as to any benefit a character may have against trolls (for example, a ranger's favoured enemy bonus). However, due to her innate affinity for trolls, she receives a +2 bonus on attack rolls when sneak attacking a troll.
Cold pseudo-vulnerability: As a result of the torment that Esterra underwent in the Nine Hells, she suffers an additional +50% subdual damage whenever she takes damage from any cold source. In addition, she suffers a -2 penalty to all rolls when operating in any cold climate.
Fire pseudo-vulnerability: As a result of a magical ritual which restored her to life, Esterra suffers an additional +50% subdual damage whenever she takes damage from any fire source.
Acid pseudo-vulnerability: As a result of a magical ritual which restored her to life, Esterra suffers an additional +50% subdual damage whenever she takes damage from any acid source.
Shadowsight (Ex): Gifted with a mystical connection to shadow and darkness, Esterra possess a superior form of darkvision with a 60-foot range. She can see through any form of normal or magical darkness without hindrance.
Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, Esterra takes no damage on a successful saving throw.
Light Blindness (Ex): Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds Esterra for 1 round. In addition, she takes a -1 penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks when operating in bright light.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Esterra retains her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class when flat-footed or targeted by an unseen foe (she still loses her Dexterity bonus if paralyzed or otherwise immobile).
Shadow Jump (Su): Esterra can travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. She can shadow jump a total of 80 feet each day in this way. This amount can be split among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment.
Shadow Blur (Su): Anytime Esterra is not in daylight of the illuminated radius of a light source, the shadows cloak her every movement, conferring the benefits of a blur spell. She can choose to activate or end this efect as a free action.
Shadow Walk (Sp): Esterra may use shadow walk as a fourth level caster once per day.
Shadow Pounce (Ex): Any time Esterra uses an ability, spell, or effect with the teleportation descriptor (for example, her shadow jump ability), she may execute a full attack action upon completion of the teleportation. She must have line of sight on her intended target from her original location, and the spot to which she teleports must be a place from which she can launch a melee attack on the intended target with whatever weapon she has in hand at the beginning of her action.
Doublespeak (Ex): Esterra has a +2 bonus on all Bluff and Diplomacy checks (included in the numbers above).
Shadow-walker Traits: Shadow-walkers gain a +4 racial bonus on hide checks. In addition, Esterra has the following spell-like abilities, usable as the spells cast by an 11th-level caster; 3/day - Shadow mask, Darkness, Shadow spray; 2/day - Dimension door; 1/day - Shadow walk. She cannot use any of her spell-like abilities in an area of bright light (sunlight or the radius of a daylight spell).
Mountain spirit folk traits: * Mountain spirit folk have a +2 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, and Tumble checks. They are also at home on steep slopes and sheer pinnacles that would terrify most humans. Since mountain spirit folk possess a natural climb speed, they receive a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks, and can always choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened. Once per day, a mountain spirit folk can use speak with animals to speak with any bird. This ability has a duration of one minute.
Telflammar shadowlord spells prepared (Caster level 4th): 1st - knock, invisibility, darkness; 2nd - invisibility, haste. Esterra prepares and casts spells just as a wizard does.
Telflammar shadowlord spell list: as above plus 1st - blindness/deafness, chill touch, darkvision, levitate, shadow mask, shadow spray; 2nd - air walk, blacklight, displacement, improved invisibility, nondetection, vampiric touch; 3rd - confusion, darkbolt, detect scrying, dimension door, mass invisibility, mislead.
Possessions: +2 Medium silent moves leather armour, +1 Medium rapier</i>, +2 Tiny dagger, The Duelist (see below)</i>, gloves of Dexterity +2, hat of disguise, necklace of protection from law (always active), ring of sustenance, ring of jumping, holy symbol of Selûne, holy symbol of Shar, holy symbol of Mask.
Esterra speaks Common, Sylvan, Shou, Tuigan, and Giant.
Esterra Molotva stands under just five feet in height, and is quite slender for her size. When she opts to reveal her natural form, her thick and vibrant red hair extends just past shoulder height, neatly parted down the centre yet otherwise unstyled, a stark contrast to her pale complexion. Her eyes are a cool, piercing blue, yet generally fail to draw attention away from her armour, a simple looking suit of leather armour, save for the fact that it is dyed completely in a bluish-black so as to ease her ability to hide in the magical darkness she creates.
She was raised by her father in Telflamm, the capital of Thesk, who spent the majority of his time showering her with tales of epic knights, dashing rogues, and stalwart heroes, which unfortunately had an effect on her disposition. Esterra believes herself to be a character in a story at all times, one that will hopefully be recorded in history and passed on to generations to come. Whether she does this as a hero or a villain, she really does not concern herself with, but her primary allegiance is (or rather, barely is) to the shadowlords of telflamm, an organization which was introduced to her by her late brother. She quickly ascended the ranks due to both her aptitude at the abilities the telflamm required, as well as her naivity. A recent incident in Amn (and her short-lived demise near Hillsfar) has caused her to pause and rethink her path in life, as well as to curb her normally hasty and fearless demeanor. It has also gained her the enmity of the Shadow Thieves of Amn, a guild in which she was performing some espionage on behalf of the Telflammar.
Currently, she has adopted the guise of a young human girl, similar in appearance to her normal form, yet with a slightly deeper skin tone and blonde hair. She calls her self Kirsti Saracen, and claims to hail from the lands just north of Sembia. Kirsti is a girl who is quite world-unsavvy, and follows the word of Selûne, and abhors combat. However, she suffers from bouts of amnesia as well as seemingly bizarre and random headaches, during both of which she seems to be taken over by some otherworldly presence, turning her into an efficient and cunning fighter. At the end of these bouts, Kirsti appears to have absolutely no recollection of the incidents occuring, and (occasionally) is found unconcious in a pool of her own blood, something for which her companions have no explanation.
If pressed into combat, Esterra will use her abilities as best as she can without blowing her cover identity. She can be a very ruthless opponent, using the shadows to hinder the abilities of her opponents to harm her, as well as aiding her own abilities and enabling her to sneak attack her foes. Generally, however, she will remain at the fringe of the battlefield, jumping in to dispatch a foe if she can without much trouble to herself, or using her spells and spell-like abilities to try and turn the tide if things start to go sour for her companions. If able to (again, without blowing her cover identity), she'll use her natural climb speed in conjunction with the magical darkness to confuse her opponents as well as benefit from attacking from higher ground. She is not above fleeing with her life (and the lives of any she can take with her) if she is in over her head. After all, dead heroes get stories written about them, but most do not get to hear them.
Well, here we go. That was certainly longer than the last character.
- Telflammar shadowlord is from Wizards of the Coast's "Unapproachable East" supplement for the "Forgotten Realms" campaign setting. It's a six level class, and the fifth level ability has really got me drooling... but, Esterra here hasn't hit fifth level yet, so that'll have to wait.
- The shadow-walker template is also from that same book. It's a template acquired after a ritual in a church of Mask. It costs 10,000 GP for someone to perform the ritual, or 2,000 GP for someone in good standing with the church. I did pay the 10,000 GP out of my starting money a few levels back (or rather, convinced the GM to let me get it done for 2,000 GP, with the other 8,000 GP being charged down the road if the church was unhappy with her or waived if they were happy with her).
- Character Progression Feats - Persuasive (1st), Mobility (3rd), Spring Attack (6th), Scoundrel's Luck (9th).
- Class Progression Feats - Dodge (1st, Fighter), Blind-fight (2nd, Shadow Thief of Amn).
- Scoundrel's Luck was pulled from AEG's Feats, although I'm not 100% sure where it first appeared. It allows you to add your Charisma bonus to Reflex saves.
- The Duelist was a magical +2 Medium rapier that Esterra found in a recent adventure. In addition to being a +2 rapier, The Duelist increases the amount of sneak attack damage that Esterra inflicts by +1d6. Also, when she is fighting an opponent alone (i.e. she is the only one who threatens it), and wielding no weapons in her other hand, she receives an additional +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls with this weapon.
- The necklace of protection from law was put in there to compensate for her lack of willpower when it comes to magics that would control her mind. A gift from the telflammar, to ensure her success, if you will :P
- The holy symbols. Heh. Esterra follows Mask. Her current guise is a follower of Selûne. The party is being hounded (and toyed with) by these two assassins who follow Shar, who keep turning her holy symbols of Selûne into holy symbols of Shar. Of course, given that Esterra is resourceful, she's held on to one "just in case" it proves useful.
- Okay, the pseudo-vulnerabilities and giant- and troll- types. You can drop these if you wish, but I figured I'd better explain why she has them. The acid- and fire- pseudo-vulnerabilites and the two types are simple enough. Esterra was killed at Hillsfar due to a mistake in her part (both her arrogance in character and the GM's nice and vague description of a metropolis as a shoddy run-down place, but that's another story). The ritual that restored her to life was one found in the ruins of some kind of temple. It required the sacrifice of one creature (or the corpse, as we found out) to restore another. In this case, the party has just defeated two trolls. However, the restoration had a catch -- some of the sacrificed creature's essence was infused into the deceased. Thus, the types and vulnerabilities.
- The cold pseudo-vulnerability is an interesting one. We ran the Nine Hells as though it were Dante's Inferno. This meant that Esterra was sent to the ninth level (for betrayers, and so forth), and was frozen in ice. Suffice to say, there was some psychological damage done from the experience (she was told by her father that she would spend eternity in bliss were she to pass on), thus the vulnerabilities. Let's just say that fighting in a snowy region in midday against a fire-wielding opponent will not be her ideal combat.
- The headaches. The fun stuff. When Esterra first came in contact with her current adventuring party (taking a nice detour from Amn), she had to find a way to keep her disguise yet still be able to fight in combat. Her encounter (and pseudo-kidnapping by the assassins once they found out who Kirsti followed) provided a good opportunity to show that "something" had changed her. She began having headaches every so often during the course of her travels. They were unexplained, and would often debilitate her for a minute or two at a time. One night, the party came under attack as they were travelling to the swamp. So, Esterra figured she'd put her first plan into action. The first round of combat, she dropped to the ground gasping in pain (free action), used her shadow mask spell-like ability (standard action), and palmed her (at the time non-magical) dagger (move-equivalent action). The second round of combat, she used her darkness spell-like ability on the dagger (standard action), planted the dagger in the ground (which the DM allowed as a move-equivalent action), and dropped the illusion from her hat of disguise (which the DM allowed me to do as a free action for flavour purposes). The third round of combat, she'd draw her rapier (move equivalent action), and then use her dimension door spell-like ability to get out of the sphere of darkness and into the fray. Once the combat was over, she'd reverse the procedure. Walk away from the group sheathing the weapon (move action), dimension door back into the sphere of darkness (standard action), and drop to the ground (free action). Next round, she'd pick up the dagger on the ground (move-equivalent action), and put her magical disguise back up (standard action). Third round, she'd stab herself in the arm with the dagger (standard action), feign unconciousness (free action, heh), and drop the magical darkness (which the DM again graciously allowed me to do as a move-equivalent action). This left the party with plenty of questions, and I thought it was pretty damn smooth. Of course, then she'd lie her way through the questions, claiming the last thing she remembered was going to bed the night before or something.
- Which is where the amnesia kicks in. She periodically "forgets" things happening, or how they got from point A to point B, and so forth. Usually this happens during an incident where she doesn't have the time to set up her elaborate ruse (i.e. against a dangerous foe). Then she just lies about being involved in the whole thing. Some of the other PCs have grilled her on it, but she's good at lying :)
- If you want to steal her whole plot/background story, the reason she's running from Amn is because she became romantically involved with a noble there who has influence with the Shadow Thieves, and killed him off as part of her duties for the Telflammar. Awkwardly enough, the noble's daughter walked in on the murder just as it happened, and Esterra couldn't bring herself to kill the girl, so she fled the country to try and find a safer region, and adopted a new guise. In the campaign I'm playing her in, it's been a couple of years since the incident, and we were passing dangerously close to Amn before we got diverted to Baldur's Gate. Unfortunately, we passed close enough to Amn that someone picked up on Esterra's presence and advised the daughter (who is now, of course, a Shadow Thief), who tracked the group to Baldur's Gate and tried to kill Esterra in her sleep (as an ooc note, the GM decided there'd be a 1% chance she found her that night... and he dropped the dice on a "00" "1" right in front of me; I cried, because I'd designed this NPC to straight up massacre Esterra, but fortunately his combat dice weren't so good and she barely managed to make it out alive). So you've got some political intrigue and all of that fluff going on, and a girl hell-bent on vengeance for her father's murder, with the killer unable to bring herself to kill the daughter. Yeah.
- I'm posting her now, rather than after she gets her cool fifth level ability, because she recently came into possession of a lot of loot (i.e. the loot she got from the past two sessions alone, even after trying to resurrect the survivors [who refused resurrection... blasted players wanting to make new characters] without anyone to divvy it up with) puts her past 16th-level gold-wise. Mind you, a lot of it will go to the Telflammar shadowlords to "apologize" for her failure in keeping her identity hidden (money buys freedom in Thesk, or so I hear), but if I tried to write her up then, people would probably comment that she has way too much gear for her level :P
Okay, I think that's enough gushing about this character. Hopefully it'll give you guys some NPC ideas or inspiration for a character of your own. If you've got any questions, comments, or corrections, let me know.
Edit: Typos and formatting. Whoops.