Of Crows, Dirt and Dongs
Bookworm with a Big Stick
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
EYES: Black (no whites or irises)
SKIN: Very pale, almost white, blue
PERSONALITY TRAITS: There’s nothing I like more than a good mystery.
IDEALS: The path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge.
BONDS: I’ve been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question.
FLAWS: Most people scream and run when they see a demon. I stop and take notes on its anatomy.
PARTY STATUS: Someone has been in my head. Someone has been in my head. I cannot panic but…. here I am, ostracised to my tent so this, this spy doesn’t find out anything more than it already has. I am sitting here, unable to do anything, no communication from Her Majesty that I can trust, and I am panicking.
HOMETOWN: Roche doesn’t remember where she came from originally, but most of her life was spent in the Great Northern Forest, within a day’s march of the lake known by the locals as Ariraskevach (although it is doubtful that any of them know why it is called this). The nearest town, to which she would occasionally travel for supplies, is Springwater.
BACKSTORY: Roche’s family were attacked by bandits while traveling when she was very young. Everyone was killed, except the little tiefling girl who escaped into the forest during the melee. She wandered the forest for days, alone and terrified; eating berries and raiding nests for survival; until she came across a rambling tower in a clearing. She was found by the resident wizard, one Master Erik, asleep on the doorstep. He was an elderly human, who eschewed the company of others in favour of his books and scrolls, but he took pity on the frightened tiefling child and took her in.
He did not apprentice her, as he did not have the temperament, nor to be honest, the magical aptitude, for that; but he did teach her to read and write in several languages, and to love knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself. Roche never knew who he was before he came to this tower, nor who his family was, but his passion for research and magic in general, and the fact that he shared it with her, more than made up for that.
She picked up some simple spells from the books herself, and became increasingly in charge of the vast library as Master Erik grew frail in his age. Eventually all practical duties fell to her – repairing damaged books and scrolls, maintaining the tower, making sure neither of them starved. After a decade together, the old man finally died peacefully in his sleep. Roche buried him behind the tower, under an oak and grieved deeply, as he had been the closest thing to family for her, and she suspected that for a long time, she was the same to him. However solitary life in the wilds is not easy, and the tower’s maintenance wouldn’t keep itself up, and she needed supplies, so life carried on. She read, and studied, and would even sometimes correspond with other scholars (who probably didn’t know what to think about old Erik’s “apprentice”), picking up letters on her rare trips into town. Roche was never lonely as she seemed to live primarily in her head and in the contents of the tower library.
One winter, she’d gone out into the forest to try catch some rabbits as stores were running low, and came across a beautiful doe, with a dazzling white coat and coal black eyes and hooves. Perhaps if she wasn’t already hungry and frustrated, Roche would have realised that this doe did not belong to any of the local herds, but she was desperate. The hunt proved surprisingly easy for someone whose skills lay primarily with research, and Roche’s thanks to the forest for providing this sustenance were sincere. It wasn’t until she looked up from her prayer that she noticed a tall and regal with feral eyes watching her. For all her naivete, Roche knew a fey queen when one was staring her down. The doe had been a pet of this particular queen, and so there would be a punishment for the act and a price for the dead beast. The punishment was that Roche would forever wear the colours of the doe she killed – horns and eyes as black as coal, hair as white as snow, and skin like lake ice. The price was her servitude until the queen saw fit to release her.
This may seem harsh, but upon find out that her new Patron was none other than the Queen of Air and Darkness, the tiefling did not protest her new life – the alternative could have been a painful death all too easily. Roche would wonder, but never directly question, many times over the coming years why she was spared. Her duties were light and simple at first – she would be taken to the Queen’s library to assist the resident Librarian with cataloguing and organising the vast collection. The Librarian taught her to first read, then write and speak in Sylvan, after which the Queen would come and converse with her about whatever topic took her fancy that day. She would take different forms sometimes, but often she chose to appear as a brightly coloured parody of a tiefling – fey humour being rather baroque sometimes.
It wasn’t long before Roche’s duties began to include sourcing additional items for the Library. The first such outing ended in near disaster as the sheltered tiefling lacked anything more than the basic survival skills, and it became clear that if more was wanted from her, then training would be required. Thus the Queen of Air and Darkness, ruler of the Gloaming Court became Roche’s Patron, giving her the power and skill she required to be her wandering collector.
OPINION OF THE PARTY:
Laucien: He… is not a very good paladin. Not due to any moral failings, but more inexperience at life. Not that I really know myself, but seriously, some decisions of his make my horns itch. At least he is a nice person, not enough of those around. So I wait here for his return, for a while anyway.
Ailish: I am reserving judgement about the elf – she keeps utterly to herself but the darkness I feel from her isn’t evil… I don’t know.
Silevion: My interaction with the wizard has been non-existent, but from what Fontanel has been able to gather, he is coldly intelligent and a huge ass. I would like to see his library though.
Leon: I don’t particularly like this… rogueish man. Mostly due to his apparent assumption that he is irresistible, but I guess that’s a forgiveable sin in the grand scheme of things.
Elspeth: I was shocked to hear Infernal out of the mouth of this elf, well, half-elf if Fontanel’s information is correct. I… kind of want to talk more with her. It would be… nice to speak in the old tongue.