- 1 Overview
- 2 Current Arcs
- 3 Completed Arcs
- 3.1 R'ulq (closed)
- 3.2 Yelrona Gets the Joke (2016)
- 3.3 Zyyka and the Champion Thief
- 3.4 Kalniss, Mul'niessa and Liberators
- 3.5 Slavers Inquisition
- 3.6 Graveknight matters
- 3.7 Yelrona the Harriet (2016)
- 3.8 Crying over Sunk Ships
- 3.9 Investigating the Veyshanti Slave Trade
- 4 Badges
Yelrona is a young (117) Dawn Elf, short (4'2") and compact, but muscular. She is fairly obviously an Inquisitor or some other martial religious order, but sports a mischievous smirk, dancing eyes, and a playful manner that belies the class's reputation.
Her skin is a warm coppery tone that almost seems to glow in the sun. Her dark brown hair hangs to her waist, usually in a tightly woven braid that she tucks into her tunic so it doesn't get in her way. Her eyes are light green, wide-set, and usually glancing around playfully, her expression usually amused and often laughing outright.
Her adventuring gear generally includes a longbow and breastplate, both clearly enchanted, and a variety of melee weapons tucked into a luxurious black leather belt with a cat's-head buckle. She wears a medallion around her neck, displaying a coyote's head on a field of stars, along with a large canine tooth fashioned into an amulet, and a small high-quality grey cape with steel and silver threads woven into it draped over her shoulders. She usually has a complicated hairclip in her hair, the appearance of which changes regularly, sometimes while you're looking at it. Her clothes typically sport a plethora of small pouches and pockets, and are well-suited for stealth. Black calf-high boots and elbow-length bracers complete the outfit, along with fingerless leather gloves that reveal two rings: one of silver with feathers stamped along the edge, the other a simple heavy steel band.
When not adventuring she usually tops all of this off with a colorful light silk robe composed of numerous brightly-colored detachable silks of varying sizes, mostly greens and oranges, giving her a colorful and celebratory appearance. She often sports brightly colored facepaint, sometimes in relatively traditional forms like eyeshadow, other times in wild and whimsical patterns.
Yelrona is a Llyranesi from the Mythwood. She was raised to be a Seer of Eluna but due to Zykka's interference became a Rogue instead. She has since then Gotten the Joke and joined Tarien's service, retraining as a Ruffian.
She is impulsive by nature, and her time among Tarienites has exacerbated this. When fate opens a door, she steps through it. So she will basically go along with any crazy random harebrained scheme as long as it's not obviously suicidal or, you know, evil. So if you approach her with a "Hey, let's go do X!" she will more than likely agree.
She is a comedian. That's not to say she's necessarily funny, but she is constantly joking and poking fun at things. She usually invokes her spells by telling jokes, which Tarien seems to approve of.
She is an adventurer. Mostly she takes stealth/infiltration/spying jobs through the Adventurer's Guild and doesn't talk about them much. Sometimes she joins adventuring parties for more standard missions. She is primarily an Archer; her preferred weapon is the composite longbow. She has access to healing magic, and is skilled at scouting, infiltration and spycraft (Disguise, Bluff, Sense Motive, Perception, Stealth, Survival/tracking).
She is not a criminal, exactly, but is an active part of the Alexandria criminal underworld.
She is not an Acquisitioner, but her father was, and she learned a lot about them (including a few basic recognition signs) from him.
She is not a Liberator, but she was rescued by them as a child and remains friends with the leader of a Chapter of Liberators in the Mythwood. She is a founding member of the unofficial Slavers Inquisition in Alexandria.
She is seeking her missing father Avourel, whom she knows was in Alexandria at least 15 years ago, and she fears has been corrupted by necromancy.
Want to RP with Rona? Just walk up and introduce yourself! Or page me if I'm not on grid. Random socialization is fun.
That said, some suggestions for things to talk about, if they interest you:
- Criminal activity in the Warehouse District (more info)
- Her missing father Avourel.
- Tarien (more info)
- Goings on in the Mythwood, especially around her home town
- Her rivalry with R'ulq
- Spying on enemies of Alexandria (more info)
We can also plot OOC about these things... less talking, more doing!
Or other things!
Though not a criminal herself (well, not exactly, anyway) she is an active part of the Alexandria criminal underworld, a de-facto member of the Guild of the Sly, and Connected within the Warehouse District, most especially among its criminal elements. She generally knows what's going on there, and what she doesn't know she can find out about.
Although she is most closely connected with the Guild she has unofficial contacts and influence within competing organizations operating within the Warehouse District as well, such as the Sunset, the Ebon Syndicate, and the Shrouded Wings
She works to steer the Warehouse criminal element away from genuinely harmful activity. "If you're going to rob a business' storehouse, why not steal from a business that treats its employees poorly, or whose owner is a follower of Taara, or something like that? Their money clinks just as satisfyingly, and the common folk will see this and know you're on their side. Which will come in handy when you need an alibi, or need someone to not tell the Guard where you're hiding, or...?" This doesn't have a significant impact on anything, really, but she tries.
She recently "sponsored" Murder in the Guild of the Sly, if that term can apply to such an unofficial organization.
Yelrona has taken a number of stealth/infiltration/spying jobs through the Adventurer's Guild, in places like Rune and Dragonier (during the wars) and Skald and Charn, as well as sometimes at home. This is distinct from her underworld activities but often overlaps with them... sneaking around is sneaking around, ultimately. She doesn't talk about them much, but sometimes recruits assistance. These are typically not combat jobs... she gathers intelligence, obtains or plants items, delivers or retrieves messages, etc.
It was on such a mission to Dragonier that she first came into contact with the Shrouded Wings.
R'ulq is Yelrona's Rival, a consequence of her growing Influence in the criminal underworld. Feel free to use him as an NPC as seems appropriate.
R'ulq is a minor local crimelord whom Rona met while trying to clean up the mess left after her magicite-intercepting mission in the Deluge Mines went south. He is a member of the Sunset, and well-regarded as someone who takes care of business and keeps things orderly.
He's an arvek nar, a former gladiator from Stone Talon in Bludgun, trained primarily as a Fighter with a dip into Rogue, but he mostly avoids getting his hands dirty these days. Cunning and clever but not well-educated. Strong and fast and tough. Large, red-skinned, black hair, black eyes. Dresses really well. Is polite to a fault unless he's pissed off. Skilled at improvisational poetry (think something similar to rap). Personally he's actually a pretty decent fellow, though that doesn't interfere with his doing some pretty awful things in his professional capacity. Doesn't like horses, which is rare for an arvek.
He dislikes Yelrona intensely, seeing her (not without justice) as a force of chaos who is screwing up his nice neat orderly universe. He tried to have her assassinated a couple of times, but his bosses have told him to cut it out. So he works more subtly now, trying to eliminate her Influence in the region without upsetting his bosses. (Plotting guideline: while R'ulq is ruthless when needed, he's also basically obedient... if the Powers That Be don't want him outright attacking her, then he won't. Rona, in turn, won't just attack him outright, because that would probably get her unofficial protection revoked, plus also it's kind of rude. So it's all psychological and organizational warfare.)
Lately Razen attempted to convince Rona to go on the attack, with some success.
Arvek Nar - Lawful Neutral L4 fighter L2 Rogue
Fights with longsword and shield when he can, or 2W long/shortsword otherwise.
STR 16 DEX 16 CON 18 INT 12 WIS 11 CHA 10 HP 60 AC touch AC
Evasion, Trapfinding, Sneak Attack 1d6, Power Attack, Improved Shield Bash, (Improved) Two-Weapon Fighting, Shield Focus, Weapon Focus/Specialization, Bravery, Armor Training 1.
[class] Athletics(6), Intimidate(6), Sense Motive (6), Ride (3), Appraise (3), Perform:Poetry (3), K:local (3),
Yelrona was raised in the Temple of Eluna where her mother Falenas was the head Seer. She was expected to succeed Falenas in that position, but she did not pledge herself to the Elunites when the time came. Her experiences with the local Liberator Chapter had taught her a great deal about Tarien and when she was 115, she declared for his Temple instead.
Shortly thereafter she arrived in Alexandria and became a lay member of the Temple of Tarian. Among other things, she performed a comic tumbling routine outside the Temple to attract worshippers. ([[One example)
After a while she Got The Joke and became a Luckbringer. Before too long her newfound commitment to Tarien interfered with her earlier (unknown) connection to Zyyka; the resulting spiritual struggle stripped her of much of her abilities as both a Rogue and a Luckbringer, and she retrained as a Ruffian. (See below for more about Zyyka and how Rona joined Tarien's temple
She does not lead Temple services but she attends them regularly, donates money and time, and is actively involved in both the Temple's organization and in the lives of those who attend services, frequently serving as a social worker of sorts.
She is also active in taking Tarien's message out into the larger world, spreading humor, organizing pranks (sometimes on a very large scale), and highlighting the absurdity of everyday life. Most recently she organized a group of Artificer freshmen to assemble a mini-trebuchet in Sage Orum's Plaza to launch pies on a large scale at the upperclassmen (RPP #64: Pie) and (RPP #101: Pie Squared), and conspired with Ga'Elian's faerie-dragon friend to humiliate some Guards.
Yelrona was born and raised in a small elven settlement named Yles Namvadin, in the Mythwood.
It is politically unimportant, but you might know of it anyway because of an exceptionally pure freshwater spring located nearby (the name means "Sweet Spring"), or because of a nearby sacred grove inhabited by the spirit Zyyka.
The Meira clan was (and still is) a classic big fish in a small pond... one of the most respected families in Yles Namvadin, though in a settlement of twenty or thirty families or so that's not really saying a lot. Her mother Falenas had been the Elunite high priestess for nearly two centuries and known as a skilled healer and teacher, and Yelrona grew up the beneficiary of considerable respect from locals because of her lineage.
Avourel and the Acquisitioners
Yelrona's father Avourel was a Rogue, an adventurer, and was often away from home. Known to few outside the family was Avourel's status as an Acquisitioner, whose many long journeys were in service of the Elunite church. He specialized in tracking down demon-summoners and safely retrieving or destroying related artifacts.
Avourel last left home thirty years ago, in search of an artifact known as the Hand of Ilris.
When Yelrona left her hometown she decided she was going to find her father. Shortly after her arrival in Alexandria she visited the Verdanan temple in the hopes of finding clues, and Executor Arisha suggested that Avourel might have been corrupted by the evil magic he dealt with.
Nilou Farsens Scribbetter interviewed Rona for Issue VIII of the Alexandrian Tribune, which included information about Avourel and a sketch of his appearance.
Not long after she ran into the Lady Sandiel while evading a goblin street gang and learned that Avourel had been in Alexandria twenty years earlier, and that he was apparently not especially faithful to her mother while on his expeditions. An encounter with a gnomish actress, Esme, included some similar accounts. That, in turn, led Rona to ask around among Alexandrian prostitutes, and she found -- to her dismay -- a high-end Mul'niessa call girl named Clarissa who remembered him. According to Clarissa, Avourel was a regular customer about fifteen years earlier who would use a Wand of Polymorph to turn her into a demon before their trysts... he was really into that, apparently.
At this point Yelrona strongly suspects that her father was corrupted by his exposure to necromancy, and is now up to Tarien-knows-what. She is kind of heartbroken about it, dreams of rescuing and redeeming him, and continues to look for clues.
During her visit to Charn Yelrona pursued a few local leads on her own time involving her father and the Hand of Ilris. Shortly afterwards, she received a Kulthian binder that, with Aya's help, she traced back to Black River Ford, a Charneth shipping hub. She brought the binder to the Artificer's Guild, who identified it as a work of Dark Artifice from the pre-Sundering Kulthian Empire. They agreed to look into it, and she leaves it in their hands. While she waits she attempts to charter a sneaky trip to Black River Ford, ultimately recruiting Astaren to that end. Meanwhile, she attempts to learn what she can about artifice and the Empire of Kulthos, which eventually reveals that Ilris was not a wizard, as she'd always assumed, but rather a Kulthian artificer around the time of the Sundering.
The Artificers determined that while the Binder was mostly destroyed into illegibility, and most of the remainder was fairly standard blueprints, there was one unusual item... a blueprint for a contraption that doesn't seem to do anything. It modulates mana, but to no discernable effect. Yelrona arranged for a contraption to be built following the blueprint, and has one, but (as expected) it doesn't do anything.
(More information about Avourel is here, but please be careful... this is OOC knowledge, not IC. It's cool for your characters to know some of that, or to have some connection to it, but I intend finding out about her dad's fate to be an ongoing process for her, so if you just show up and recount all of that information over a beer I will probably pretend that never happened.)
Yelrona is actively involved with the Shrouded Wings, a freelance group of former Dragoneiri intelligence operatives based in Alexandria.
Meeting the Wings
Yelrona first encountered the Shrouded Wings in 1018, when she was a novice Rogue. She was just helping out a middle-aged Lucht woman who was assaulted just outside Harvain's Pharmaceuticals' storage warehouse by some muggers.
At least she thought they were muggers; in reality they were Ebon Syndicate muscle-men sent to intercept a package she was delivering to the Shrouded Wings. With Rona's help the woman escaped, gave her name as "Linnea," thanked Rona, and went off.
Rona never did discover there was anything unusual going on there, though it brought her to the Wings' attention.
Some time later, Rona -- by this point a more experienced Rogue as well as a Luckbringer -- took a job through the Adventurers' Guild to retrieve a package from Dragonier. This was a pure stealth mission, as part of the assignment was to not call attention to herself. (Invisibility to Undead, it turns out, is a really useful spell for these sorts of situations.) Rona retrieved the package, but was overcome with curiosity about it: what could be so important that it was worth hiring someone to infiltrate the undead-infested Dragonier for?
So before she retrieved it, she inspected it. It contained, among other things, a collection of coded messages, some of which had been partially decoded. Even more curious now, she copied them all before completing the mission. Over the next few months she worked out the cipher and decoded some of the messages, which included the identities of some Dragonier intelligence operatives, one of whom -- Amen Husul -- had survived the fall of Dragonier and was now active in Alexandria.
So she began to look into Husul's activities, which led her to the Shrouded Wings, and as she developed Influence in the Warehouse District underworld over the next couple of years she got informally involved in the Wings' activities there.
In 2020 Rona acquired a list of Charneth intelligence assets in Alexandria, which she handed over to the Wings to do with what they would. This significantly increased her Influence within the organization, as did her involvement, however minor, in Astaren's ritual to raise the dragon Mingcarulos from the dead.
Amen Husul was formerly a highly placed intelligence operative within the Dragoneir intelligence department, now an important part of the Shrouded Wings in Alexandria.
Some facts about Husul:
- His specialty is counterintelligence and disinformation, and is actively involved in spreading rumors that benefit the Wings.
- He is about 50 years old, human, of Cerenzan descent though born in Dragonier.
- He is missing one leg, and uses a prosthetic.
- He doesn't do field work if he can help it. Rather, he coordinates information flow, schmoozes with important people, plants rumors, learns secrets.
- He is smart and charismatic and intuitive, speaks many languages, and seems to know pretty much everything. (High INT/CHA/WIS, Human Improvisation, Cosmopolitan, TONS of skills, that sort of thing.)
- He is an accomplished forger and codebreaker.
- He is fiercely dedicated to the principles of the Dragon Knights, as well as being a Dragonier patriot. He dreams of finding a way to defeat Heth and resettle Dragonier, though his day-to-day life is occupied with keeping the Wings afloat.
- He is NOT a friendly man. Not that he's hostile, he's just... aggressively neutral. He doesn't smile, doesn't express agreement with things, doesn't laugh at jokes. He just takes everything in.
- He has an eidetic memory.
- He is mostly a Rogue with a 2-level dip into Diviner. He has a Viper familiar, whom he has not named.
Husul is Yelrona's Rival within the Wings, and his level is equal to hers.
Although Husul is Rona's Rival, they are not enemies... he has actually been working with her for a while now. As her influence has increased, though, he has become concerned that she is exerting too much influence for an outsider. He also considers her too impulsive, chaotic and undisciplined to be reliable. At the same time, though, he appreciates that she means well and has been helpful to the Wings from time to time. Consequently he now acts to minimize her influence but still cooperates with her at times.
Darina Landraal was a new field agent within the Dragoneir intelligence department, now an important part of the Shrouded Wings in Alexandria.
She is an infiltration specialist, a Lucht Rogue skilled at getting into places she shouldn't.
She is Yelrona's primary contact within the Wings, and frequently serves as her Accomplice. Mostly she provides Rona with information about events in Alexandria.
(See plot summary for background.)
Although she was involved in rescuing a mesmerized farmer's boy from Zeheir's golems and Tower (Finding_Edgar), Rona's involvement with Zeheir really starts when a group of dominated Oruch warriors attack her homeland (The_Destruction), whom Rona is forced to kill. They seemed like good people, under the control of an evil "Mistress." So she decides to track down their families and clans and let them know what happened to them, hoping to maybe get some information about how they were selected at the same time. She tries to recruit Razen's assistance in approaching them, though he has some concerns.
Later she chats up a fighter from one of those tribes as part of a contest of arms, and still later she visits a half-oruch woman at the Wayfarer's Inn, the older sister and last remaining relative of one of those warriors. She tells the woman about her brother's death and returns his sword. She accepts the news, but not the weapon. Still later she informs a grieving father of his son's death at her hands and returns a bracer with a stylized mountain engraved on it.
All of this induces her to begin investigating Zeheir and whoever is using his golems. The discovery of a second Tower gives her a place to start at least.
In early 1020 R'ulq tried to intimidate her by drowning her in effigy. G'Elian and Gull found the life-size, lifelike doll in the ocean, along with a dagger with R'ulq's name on it (RPP Job #82: Ga'Elian: Effigy in the Water and RPP Job #90: Gull: The Effigy), which Elian recognized because Rona has talked about R'ulq before. Or maybe it was sympathetic magic? Either way, it doesn't seem to have worked.
Later, Elian showed the effigy to Rona (RPP Job #99: Yelrona: Ox-Strength II and RPP Job #100: Ga'Elian: Playing with Dolls), and she decided two can play at that game. A dozen or so invocations of Acid Splash, a cup or two of pig's blood, and a stealthy hour or so later, a rotted bloody effigy of Yelrona "appeared" outside the window of one of the offices R'ulq uses in the Warehouse district, with his dagger in its hand. Because, hell, if he's going to symbolically threaten to kill her, she's gonna symbolically threaten to come back from beyond the grave and shover his dagger up his ass.
Although the doll itself was taken down fairly quickly, the rumors spread fast, and -- as rumors do -- grew distorted in the retelling. So when the story reached Rona's new friend Razen, what he heard was that Rona's body had been found hanging outside a warehouse, which caused him some concern, and he came rushing to find her. (RPP Job #82: Llyranesi Embassy) Razen really does not understand why she doesn't just kill him.
Early Assassination Attempts
Initially, R'ulq just tried to have Rona killed, by planting false leads to lure her into traps.
First, a rumor of a secret meeting at the Flightwright sends her skulking through the shadows there, but the only meeting seems to be between Sorscha and Aldean, and Ga'Elian (who'd been conned by a gobber into buying fake tickets for a nonexistent show).
Then, a supposed hidden stash in the warehouse district turns out to be nothing but an empty trapped chest. As she extricates herself from that situation she runs into Fiore, a giantborn several times her size whom she's actually met before, doing acrobatics on the bridge, and who fortunately ignores her point of origin.
Then, a covert Guild mission that _again_ turns out to be nothing but a trap, this time leaving her arm a bloody mess. She should have gone straight to Tarien's temple for healing, probably, but fatigue and hunger and frustration overcame good sense, as it so often does for her, and she returned to her room at the Fernwood. Fortunately, she encountered Jinx there, who healed her.
Then a fourth time, and an acid trap injures her feet and ruins her boots. She returns to Sandy's shop to get a new pair, since the shop's warranty does not extend to items destroyed by acid traps.
Eventually Rona began to suspect enemy action, but was distracted by a Guild mission to steal a ledger from the Warehouse District, which Jinx helps her complete with no bloodshed. She later meets up with Jinx to explain that an underworld figure known as Iron Hand Laq has been the source of some annoyance to both the Sunset and the Guild of the Sly, neither of which organizations he belongs to. He has thus far been beyond their reach thanks to copious blackmail records on important figures in both organizations. They had intelligence on his secret office's location, but didn't trust each other to attack it -- what if one of them obtains it? So they shared the intel with the Adventurer's Guild, who retained Yelrona to secure the records and provide it to them, so they can certify its destruction. She did so, though she copied some pages that looked interesting along the way. They are encrypted, however, so it may be a while before she works out their contents. (cf Breaking into a Warehouse, Explaining the Breakin)
But somehow, the Sunset and the Guild found out about the theft. This too, she now suspects, was R'ulk's doing. It required her to meet with some minor representatives of the Sunset, the Guild of the Sly, and the Ebon Syndicate who wanted confirmation the ledger was destroyed. She puts them off for the moment with the promise to provide more details later, and rather than remain alone and potentially at risk she joins Jacob, who is sitting nearby. They dance together for a while, while Rona searches his pockets, until Tarien Himself interrupts the discussion with a fart joke. But it's only a temporary reprieve: the three return to interrogate her more aggressively (in other words, a successful Diplomacy roll only lasts so long). Negotiations become first heated and then violent, and Rona is about to be overwhelmed by the threesome when she is joined by Duncan and his digger. The three thugs are quickly convinced to leave Rona alone, rather than force a fight where they don't have overwhelming numbers. Rona and Duncan exchange introductions and she offers to buy him a meal by way of thanks.
Ultimately Rona manages to convince far more powerful underworld figures than she to lean on R'ulq to stop it with the assassination attempts, because they are bad for business.
Yelrona Gets the Joke (2016)
(How Yelrona became a Luckbringer)
It all started with Coyote's Laugh.
Well, no, it started before that. In Rona's own words:
"Comedy is serious business!
It wasn't a huge surprise that the Temple of Tarien was the most comfortable-feeling place I found in Alexandria. After all, back home there wasn't even an actual Temple, and I _still_ found Kalniss' father more comfortable to be around than my own mother. Nor was it a surprise when I started spending a good deal of my free time there, trading jokes with the Luckbringers.
Pretty soon I started performing in the Temple District, entertaining the citizens who came there for whatever reasons and, perhaps, letting some of the Singer's humor enter their hearts and lighten their spirits. And if they were encouraged to enter Tarien's Temple or make a donation, well, that was all right too.
One of my first shows I ended up recruiting the assistance of a giantborn Sunblade named Sigrid. And it was only when I got to talking to her about the importance of Sunblades being serious that I began to understand a sermon one of the Luckbringers had preached the previous day, about how something as silly as a pratfall can transmute fear into joy. And again, the next day, when the dour Aya and the pragmatic Ga'Elian questioned my choosing to serve as a "cheerleading squad" for "benighted humans" I found myself delivering a little sermon of my own.
"I'll tell you something," I told them. "Before I came here, I'd met humans, but I'd never met an _old_ human. They _age_. I don't entirely understand how they even get up in the morning. I mean, why even bother, if they're just going to die in a decade or ten? But... they do. So... no. Not benighted. Not exaggerated. And yes, they deserve to be cheered. And if I'm the only one who thinks so, well... I guess that makes it my job."
I think that's when I began to realize that I was more than just casually connected to Tarien's Temple... that the Singer was singing through me. Not that I'm going to turn into a Luckbringer or anything of the sort, but still... there was _some_ kind of affinity. So I started to spend more time there, do more shows. I presided over a somewhat terrifying food-fight between Hun'rar and Svarshan, which in turn inspired Sorscha to relate the story of how she received the Call to serve as a Sunblade... all of which led me to understand that humor was something that tied together all the Gods of Good... even the stodgy ones.
Was it a coincidence that my very next show, Esmaudalein's appearance in the audience provided another clue to my father's history?
Well, probably. But it felt like a reward.
In any case... that's how it began. And now, well, _now_ I find myself sporting a glowing tattoo in the shape of Coyote's Laugh, which the Luckbringers tell me is a sign of the Trickster's Affinity. What _that_ means, I suppose, I'll have to wait for time and experience to show."
That is... in the course of becoming more closely bound to the Temple of Tarien, Yelrona had begun to feel the Singer's humor more intimately, prompting her to take more risks and act with more boldness. She hadn't thought too much about it, figuring it was a natural function of experience, until she noticed a pattern of what she'd originally thought were freckles just under her clavicle but turned out to glow faintly in the dark in the form of the constellation 'Coyote's Laugh' in orange and green.
Which is about as far from subtle as it's possible to get without actually being blatant, right? Especially since she'd already seen a case of aspect tattoo once before, on Ga'Elian's back. So she showed it to one of the Luckbringers at the Temple, who after consulting some other experts confirmed it as a sign of mystical affinity to the Trickster.
She researched the markings at the City Library, aided by the unlikely research pair of Jokul and Cerylie. Well, admittedly, Jokul mostly provided the alcohol. Regardless, she determined to her satisfaction that this was a thing that happened not-too-uncommonly in Alexandros. So, all right, then.
Nevertheless, it led to Rona being given more respect around Tarien's Temple. Which, admittedly, mostly manifested in the form of numerous practical jokes at her expense, and jobs to do. For example, she was asked to pick up food for the Tarienite float in the Revels Parade as well as to perform in the Parade itself.
It continued with the Trickster's humor leading Rona into numerous practical jokes, often without her quite intending to be. For example, when Ga'Elian revealed how he'd been conned into buying a fake "license" for Erithamiel, she found a self-affixing label in her pocket that read 'Endearing but Gullible'. What could she do but surreptitiously affix it to the back of his armor?
It was all in good fun, but it led somewhere she hadn't anticipated. As she later described it to Jinx (cf What is this, a joke?):
"This morning, I was at Temple services before doing my tumbling routine for the acolytes, like usual, right? And... right after the communal recitation of the Knock-Knock Joke, I... well, I suppose you could say I had a vision, I guess." She says this with an air of embarrassment. "Well. So... you know how I usually sit in the back, yes? So this morning someone sat next to me during the Joke, and I looked over, and..." she looks even more embarassed now, "well, it was a redheaded gnome with a huge belly, one I'd never seen at the Temple before." As Jinx knows perfectly well, this is a common depiction of Tarien in the lore. "So of course I assumed someone was pranking me, so I bowed and made obesiance - to go along, right? And he says 'Two Llyranesi walk into a bar,' and disappears. No spellcasting, no gestures, just gone. So, again, I assume someone's throwing an illusion my way, no big deal. There's a little box on the pew beside me, so I pick it up and open it. So. The box is white, and has another box inside, which is green. I take the green box out, and it's bigger than the white box. Which, all right, fine... illusions are illusions. Inside the green box there's an orange box, again bigger. A little obvious, maybe, but amusing. And inside THAT... was THIS." She gestures to indicate the holy symbol in her hand, which apparently is not an illusion, if she's been carrying it with her since this morning. "And a cookie, with a note that said EAT ME."
"Did you eat the cookie? Was obviously a gift."
Yelrona looks askance at Jinx. "Eat the cookie? Of course not!" she replies, continuing "I ate the note, of course. And... well. It's not just how I feel, it's... well, look." She withdraws a container of water from her pack, grabs a handful of dirt, which she pours dextrously into the bottle. Then she holds her hand over the bottles mouth and says "...and one of them orders a coffee, which she spits out immediately. 'Waiter, this coffee tastes muddy!' she complains. 'Well it should!' replies the bartender. 'It's fresh ground!'" At the punch line, the holy symbol glows and the water grows clear again. Rona drinks half of it. "See?"
And all at once, Rona was a Luckbringer.
This admittedly takes some getting used to. The Temple has accepted it, but she still hasn't fully wrapped her brain around it. Nevertheless she has invoked Tarien's assistance in battle twice now, once against goblins and once against a Chaaor Demon. In the latter case she was even saved by divine intervention. So she's coming to accept it.
Zyyka and the Champion Thief
(This is not widely known, but is not secret; it can be known IC with suitable Knowledge rolls. Also Yelrona will willingly talk about it if it comes up in conversation. If you'd like to hear it IC, let me know, but if you and she are friends you can also just assume that you've asked where she _went_ for the year she was gone and she told you the story off-camera.
There is a sacred grove not too far from Yles Namvadin, in the Mythwood, where Yelrona was born. The spirit of the Grove is a Nymph named Zyyka. Zyyka was bound to the Grove about 500 years ago, replacing the Grove's former spirit Waelin. How Waelin was bound there, and how the Grove itself came to exist, is lost to history. The two loathed one another at first sight, and their rivalry was legendary. The legends are vague about exactly how this happened, but somehow when the dust settled, Zyyka was bound to the grove and Waelin was free and had possession of Zyyka's Heart. The legends are even _more_ vague about the Heart, other than that it is extremely powerful and valuable, and that Waelin herself was unable to make use of it.
Knowing that Zyyka would attempt to retrieve her Heart, Waelin hid it away in a cavern that was not entirely of this world, and was accessible only one night every hundred years. So Zyyka resolved to find a champion who could retrieve her Heart for her. Four centuries, four champions, four failures.
When Yelrona was little her mother Falenas took her to the Grove and asked Zyyka to bless Yelrona, that she might excel on her destined path... which Falenas assumed would be as a Seer like herself. Instead, Zyyka blessed Yelrona with quick, clever hands and agility unknown even among the superhumanly agile Llyrinasi, and the girl grew into a Rogue rather than a Cleric, much to her mother's dismay. Of course, there would be a price to pay for Zyyka's aid, but Falenas was confident that Eluna's grace would shield her daughter when the time came to pay it. And when Yelrona left Eluna's temple to become an adventuring rogue, her mother was so furious she neglected to mention any of this.
Zyyka was not merely being capricious; she intended for Yelrona to be her fifth champion, an exceptional thief who would defeat Waelin's wards and retrieve the Heart. But then Yelrona Got The Joke and entered Tarien's service as a Luckbringer, and was no longer suitable. So Zyyka withdrew her gift, and Yelrona lost her exceptional dexterity and many of her roguish skills. More than that, the furious nymph cursed the young elf with incompetence (-5 penalty to all skill rolls).
Seeking guidance, Yelrona travelled to a Tarienite monastery and spent weeks in meditation and prayer and stand-up comedy, and ultimately she had a vision in which Tarien and Zyyka were haggling over her soul, eventually coming to an agreement: Zyyka would lift her curse, and when the time came Yelrona would perform the service Zyyka had originally intended for her... though how she would succeed, without the skills Zyyka had granted her, was her own problem. If she succeeded, well and good: Zyyka would quit her claim on Yelrona's soul. Otherwise, Zyyka's punishment would be merciless and terrible and not at all funny.
In her vision, Tarien agreed. (As did Yelrona, though her opinion was not exactly relevant in this particular council.)
Yelrona returned to the monastery and, over the next year or so, was retrained as a Ruffian. She also learned as much as she could about Zyyka.
The day is coming.
Kalniss, Mul'niessa and Liberators
Yelrona's best friend in Yles Namvadin was an older boy, Kalniss, whose family was looked down on due to rumors of Mul'niessa Sorcerors in their lineage, and whose parents managed a Mythwood trading route and were frequently away from home for long periods.
Yelrona and Kalniss spent a great deal of time together, exploring the settlement and, later, ruins around the Mythwood. She learned a great deal from him and from the friends he would sometimes introduce her to, Rogues of all races who would gather from time to time to trade stories and loot, show off skills, etc. She came to enjoy both the learning and the showing off quite a bit.
In her eighth decade, the two youths stumbled across a group of slavers operating in a Mythwood ruin. They decided to intervene, setting up traps and distracting the slavers until they could free the slaves. It worked for a while, but eventually they got caught. Eventually they were rescued by an adventuring party that included Kalniss' parents, and their injuries healed. Yelrona learned that Kalniss' father was a Luckbringer, but he preferred that this not be widely known, and that his family had been rescued from Mul'niessa slavers by a party of Liberators before he was born and he had, to honor that, founded his own chapter of Liberators among the Mul'niessa of Mythwood.
Yelrona agreed to keep all of this to herself, but she began to spend more time with Kalniss' family. She is not a Liberator but she knows a good deal about them and remains a friend to the Mythwood chapter.
(ongoing grid RP with staff involvement)
In Firetide 02, Rona began investigating disappearances in the Warehouse District. This wasn't a topic of great interest to the Guard, since the victims were all poor laborers with few friends.
She tracked some of the victims to an abandoned warehouse, which turned out to be the same warehouse that Daniel_the_Shark, working for the Ebon Syndicate, had been stashing the Sage Brew he was smuggling into Alexandria. That was an implausible coincidence, and when she looked into it further she discovered a particular Ebon Syndicate Family, run by a crime boss with the unlikely name of Righteous Fury, owned the warehouse.
So Rona broke into a Syndicate storehouse to steal some relevant records, and runs into a spot of trouble, which Murder helps her out of.
Later, as she analyzes those records, she is joined by an unrelated group planning to resurrect an unrelated dragon. (RPP Job #115: Warehouse Gathering) Eventually she manages to figure out how to interpret the stolen records, which point her at the Diadem Shipping Company, a powerful trading consortium with known Syndicate ties.
Ga'Elian, Sparklewing, and Morgan find her allowing a tedious guardsman to "teach" her archery in order to secure a good spying spot on the Tornmawr bridge, where she can monitor Diadem's shipping activities. Unfortunately, Rona's impulsive Flaw, with assistance from Sparklewing, leads her to prank the guards and thereby lose the spot.
Later, Morgan, Ga'Elian, and Sparklewing find her down by the riverbank, spying from the top of a tall tree, and she explains what she's up to.
Around that time, Rona runs into Banshee and Murder having a polite disagreement about the proper handling of a friend of Murder's, Chay, who has been accused of sinking a Charnese ship (cf Silver and Sith Part 1 and Part 2). Rona offers to help Murder investigate the matter. It turns out that the mission was assigned through the Adventurer's Guild, so Chay suspects a leak in the Guild -- perhaps a highly placed one -- who has been compromised by the Charneth nobility. Rona, Murder, and Chay hatch a plan to investigate further, by planting rumors in the Guild that will hopefully lead them to reveal themselves. Afterwards they recruit Aya and Constantin to join what Rona dubs the "Slavers Inquisition.", including her allies in the Veyshanti investigation. Later Rona recruits the half-oruch Razen, and the witch Alba.
Rona talks to Aya at some length about the relationship between Charn and the Sith-Makar and the Charneth slave trade more generally, and about Aya's own former life in Charn. She gets a different view from Chay (after a bit of an interruption) and, after a trip to the Mictlan, from Un'eth (RPP job 80: Names) and, later, Hetzakoatl and Svarshan|. Still later, a conversation with Svarshan turns up some disquieting information, and also suggests a path forward for throwing Sith-hunters off the trail. Rona attempts to get additional information from Banshee, one of the bounty hunters after Chay, but is mostly unsuccessful.
The sting operation bears fruit, revealing a group of Charneth operatives in Alexandria. The Inquisition traces them back to a base near the Charneth Embassy. Rona sets up surveillance outside that base. She briefly considers recruiting Verna's Outsider follower, whom she hopes might make a good spy, but who turns out not to. Morgan helps her with the stakeout and they make plans for Morgan to use her magic to further investigate. She also recruits Amaya into the Inquisition, and Amaya later joins her and other Inquisition members in [[PRP:_Investigating_Charneth_Investigators|investigating the operatives' base, where they uncover a shrine to Thul.
Meanwhile, Rona has continued her investigation of the Syndicate's involvement in the Veyshanti slave trade. Her spying on shipping routes in the Warehouse District has turned up a number of ships engaged in "unofficial" missions, but in a city as busy as Alexandria that's no surprise. Her investigation of one such ship in the Shipyard concludes that, while it is certainly engaged in illegal smuggling of _some_ sort, it isn't anything the Slavers Inquisition is concerned with. Later, Rona and several other adventurers find and disrupt a slave operation.
In the aftermath of the Inquisition's mission against the Charneth agents -- which resulted in shutting down that particular group of spies, but did not identify their leaders the way Rona had hoped -- she is approached by Daechir, who wanted her help presenting himself as a potential buyer to the Charneth operating in Alexandria. They worked out a plan and set it into operation immediately, though failed to be terribly convincing to either Walery or Aya, as Rona was later informed. Later, they met in disguise and continued their plotting, and she provided some guidance about how to maintain a fake identity. .
Yelrona was later approached by Razen, who wanted her help presenting himself as a potential slave. They sketched out that plan. Ultimately Razen was abducted, and the Inquisition followed him to Charn; in the course of rescuing him they took down the spymasters responsible for hunting Chay.
(ongoing grid RP)
A mission to rescue a kidnapped child pits a party of adventurers against undead wights and vukodlak.
Later, Yelrona takes Josia, the rescued boy, out to see the big city for a day in the hopes of lifting his spirits. After jovial afternoon services in Tarien's Temple, they run into Vaalyun in the Temple District, and the two of them get some information out of Josia about the graveknight that is apparently leading the undead infestation (RPP Job #98: Dungeon Delve followup).
Although a graveknight is way outside her threat range, Rona feels compelled to deal with the threat, and decides to recruit some allies to take care of it... which she gets to do, conveniently enough, at the Temple Meetup that very evening. Among the allies she recruits is Ga'Elian, whom she takes to Josia's farm the next day and shows the location of the lair where they fought the undead, and from which apparently the creatures have been mounting expeditions.
They track the graveknight to the site of the murder of a local farmer, and as they try to decide what their next steps are, they are attacked by a revenant who seems to be the farmer's reanimated corpse.
Yelrona the Harriet (2016)
(Ongoing grid RP: Yelrona finds her trade as a spy. She neither has a notebook, nor is featured in a children's novel, however.)
Yelrona never set out to be a spy. It just kind of happened.
It all started with Setiewan... though she hadn't known he was Setiewan at the time. She hadn't even known he was a "he" at the time. He was in disguise as an Islander woman, talking to her and Selerik, when a noble girl's riding crop had mysteriously transformed into an artifice snake. The Islander had touched the "snake" and collapsed... overwhelmed, it turns out, by the memories of an ancient war golem.
There must have been some magic in that riding crop they found, for when she placed it... well, never mind.
Anyway... Rona, overcome by curiosity about the little notebook the Islander had been making notes in, and about "her" by-now-obvious fake identity, had lifted the book from "her" unconscious body. She'd meant it as a prank, really. That's why she'd left a note in "her" pocket explaining how to get it back... she'd assumed it was a diary or something of the sort. She'd fully intended to give it back, she was just curious about it. But it had turned out to be a list of names, under each of which there was a list of names. And that was just puzzling.
And when they finally met... Setiewan Bambangputra in his default identity, as far as she knows... Rona found herself in the middle of a more complicated world than she quite knew what to do with. She knew his real name, and a dozen aliases from his book... and a new one he created just for her, "Georg." She never did give Setiewan her real name... he knows her as "Calouria" to this day. Her first alias, but far from her last.
Everything she learned about the man made her more curious, rather than less. He was the first person she'd met in Alexandria who understood hand-speech. He had an alarmed "office" in an abandoned warehouse. He talked about the Guild of the Sly and the Sunset as though he interacted with them regularly. Rona knew about these organizations, of course... since half the people she met in Alexandria assumed she was a thief, they tended to come up in conversation. But as she _wasn't_ a thief, she'd never had much of anything to do with them.
Somehow, a spur-of-the-moment prank had turned her into an underworld figure's accomplice-of-necessity. If that's not Tarien's hand at work, what is?
And then came the invasion of Rune. And while Rona started out as part of the Alexandrian Irregulars, fighting the Dran army with her blade, it soon became clear that frontal assaults were not really her strength. After nearly dying on several different occassions, she decided to retire... only to be recruited by the Guild as an _especially_ irregular Irregular, taking private missions to gather intelligence about Rune.
On her first such mission, Yelrona was spotted when she uncovered a hidden Dranien stronghold. She fled and made her way covertly to the transporter beneath Butterscotch and Cream's, and ran into two familiar faces from Alexandria there: Jacob and Shierra. Unfortunately, four Dranien raiders tracked her to the shop, and attempts at diplomacy failed to dissuade them... so, the three were forced to fight the raiders to protect the teleporter's secret.
Yelrona's handlers at the Adventurer's Guild were pleased enough by the results of her first covert mission, which identified a concealed Dranei strongpoint in Rune, which the Rune wizards promptly dispatched. However, back home the consequences got somewhat awkward, as Rona and Jacob run into each other again in Sandy's shop, where Rona attempted to keep her covert activities in Rune secret. To no avail, as Jacob discussed them anyway. Fortunately for her, Sandy and Jacob turned out not to get along, so minimal information was exchanged.
Also, Rona bought a new pair of fancy boots.
Several days later, the pair was sent back to Rune to gather more information about the occupation force. They encountered two clerical types at the Wizard's Pub, and Yelrona spent some time surreptitiously copying a map they were arguing over, while Jacob charmed their waitress and asked about Dranei strong-points. She didn't know much, but informed them of a regular customer known as Green-Eyed Jason, who knows a lot about such things... but is unlikely to show up while the Dranei are there.
Jacob manages to get the two to leave purely by telling them the truth... that if they stay where they are, the map they're arguing over can easily be seen by anyone! After all, who knows who might be a spy, right? Rona wasn't too thrilled with that approach at first, but she had to admit, it worked! The two left promptly. Unfortunately, Green-Eyed Jason never showed up, so they continued their surveillance, following the copied fragments of the map.
Some time afterwards, Rona was distracting herself from the increasing danger of her intel-gathering missions by shopping, which led her once again to the Prestigous Moon, which some vandal had puzzlingly repainted the sign of. With the war much on her mind, her discussion with Sandy turned quickly from scarves and fashion sense to the grim realities of war and the possibility of similar chaos in Alexandrian streets. Rona also attempted to extract additional data about Dran from Sandy, whom she figured is probably very much in the know about all kinds of things given how long she's been around, but got precisely nowhere, which was unsurprising.
Her next mission on Rune's behalf actually never involved leaving Alexandria... she broke into the offices of a local merchant suspected of smuggling Guild troop assignment reports to the enemy. Sure enough, a secret panel in the back of his filing cabinet contained documents that condemned him as a Dranei spy. Rather than turn him over to the authorities, Rona forged a duplicate set of documents with false intelligence and replaced them, taking the originals with her. As she handed off the originals to her middleman, a burly redhead she knows only as 'Red Bull,' she became aware that Fazahd, Silmeria and Jokul could see her from the side panel of his new restaurant, where she joined them. Fortunately, the arrival of a group of prostitutes whose madam was in conflict with Fazahd distracted everyone from her shadowy activities to the best way to put a crooked procurer out of business. This in turn leads to a discussion of the mana lamps being installed in Alexandros, where Yelrona learns that Fazahd was responsible. She approves in principle, but the reality is it makes her job harder.
The next few surveillance assignments in Rune went without a hitch, but were followed by truly disastrous one that ultimately involved helping Jokul and MAC-B1G extricate themselves out from behind enemy lines, past some sort of animated mud creature that almost killed her. The point of covert ops was supposed to be to _avoid_ frontal-attack combat. Still, they made it OK.
Her next assignment involved intercepting a shipment of magicite that was passing covertly through the Deluge Mines to Dran. This proved a _lot_ more complicated than she'd anticipated, and ultimately she was only able to intercept a third of the shipment. Furthermore, she was spotted in the process by, among other people, her friend Ga'Elian and a Mourner named Kerbasi, so she ended up socializing with them for a time so as not to raise suspicions. This also involved an elaborate practical joke involving tattered cloaks and the Temple of Vardama. Meanwhile, attempting damage control around the incomplete mission ultimately involved a series of meetings at the Ox-Strength with R'ulk, a red-skinned arvek crimelord and one of the best-dressed men she's met in Alexandros. She managed the negotiations well enough in the end, though at the cost of rather a lot of her own purse, just in time to be dragged into a rather rude discussion with Jokul and MAC-B1G about the various social amenities available at the Ox.
While this is all going on, another covert Guild mission to Rune sees Yelrona and Setiewan assigned to track down and rescue a young girl, a novice sorceress and also the daughter of a Rune city selectman. They manage to track her as captive to a Dranei unit, which they attempt to bluff their way into, more or less successfully. They get the girl out, and she in turn informs Rona of a package delivery in Rune that depends on native local knowledge of the city.
Unfortunately, Rona lacks that knowledge herself, and the young sorceress is too wounded to participate.
But later, she meets Astaren, who _is_ a native of the city... and decides to recruit him into her covert war effort. This ends up with her, Astaren, Arisha, and Cesran intercepting the package, and the Runish priest/mage helping her decipher the clues to its destination.
Crying over Sunk Ships
Investigating the Veyshanti Slave Trade
Llyranesi PC Badge
Impulsive Flaw PC Badge
Influence PC Badge
Temple of Tarien Organization PC Badge
Trickster's Affinity PC Badge
Homeland Mythwood PC Badge