Alya Drussel: The Dragon's Head of the Chimera
Set up: For better or worse popularity and strength of personality are most powerful forces at Moltov’s court. The standards for behavior and intra-personal ability are harshest on the women of the court. The prominent Holymen of Moltov’s court interprets Roarck’s teaching as defining women as only having three roles: servants, objects of desire and breeding partners. Thus for a woman to hold any power at court she must command a personal charisma that rivals that of generals and Kings, and wield her powers with stealth and cunning.
Eleven years after Moltov established his court three women have succeed in carving a place for themselves in the power structure. The men of the court call them the “Chimera”, although they will never let one of the three hear them say it. Most of the Paladins at court are not stupid, they know that these women have ways to exact revenge and express anger beyond their imaginations. The women of the chimera may not say much, or anything, when the Court gather’s before Parna’s Throne in Oldstone Hall, but the Chimera always have a hand in shaping what the men say before they say it.
Moltov's 11th full court was gathered to considered the question of war with dwarven city states of the Ven mountains.
Appearance and Impressions:
Watching Alya move through the broad shouldered trunk armed men of Moltov’s court is like watching a child pull a kite through a grove of thorn trees: your heart is both inspired and worried. She is a slight woman, with small shoulders, a long neck and delicate arms. Despite her small stature her allure is not the shy kind, she is direct, confident and has a self assured patience. Any sense of fragility is lost when she holds your face with her gaze. Alya has a natural beauty that defies any need for presentation or qualification. But her countenance is only the first wave of her charms. Her style of communication is so direct as to ignore any of the prejudices or biases that drive other relationships. If there were forty shouting men in the room and Alya turned to catch your eye, than you would feel like the only person there.
Alya’s eyes are a deep blue, her nose is a small (unAtor) affair nestled between discrete cheekbones and above a matched pair of soft pink lips. Her hair is a reddish brown, long, and often worn in braids laid delicately over her shoulder and across her breasts. Closer inspection of Alya reveals some of her age: a bit fatigue around the eyes or lines aside the mouth. It may also become clear that the red in her hair is artificial.
Her style of clothing is often novel, she designs or has other design for her unique dresses. She was the first woman of court to wear a strapless gown, and has recently begun wearing dresses made from fine flax linen instead of the traditional wool and fur materials of Ator. Although Alya’s cuts of strapless gowns are no longer popular at court they have begun making appearances among the Ivanvil women of the Hearnt. In this 11 th year of Moltov’s rule the dress makers and weavers of Parna’s Throne have begun making flowing pale linen dresses for every woman of means.
Nobody leaves their first meeting with Alya without thinking that this woman is kind and intelligent. She has an enigmatic way of a holding the moments before address and between words so that the silences are pregnant but never awkward. Most men often feel like that they made a strong impression on Alya, because one of Alya's true social gifts is to make the person she is speaking with feel impressive and important.
Personal History and Political Positions:
Starting in the time of Alya’s father it became fashionable for Ator nobles and knights to be waited on by their wives or female members of their families while at court or visiting the residence of another peer. This fashion, like all fashions and social trends, was embraced by Alya’s father. Alya’s striking visage and natural grace were already observable at an early age, and so her father chose Alya ahead of his sisters and wife to attend him during state functions, festivals and tournaments. The king of Ator at that time was a restless gregarious warlord who could not go ten days without another tournament or festival. Alya’s education in the culture of Roarck and his warrior’s began at the age 12.
Alya became a popular figure at court: dancing for the King and playing the maineharp (a cello like instrument) for the entire peerage. In many other places in the world her courtship would have been a competitive affair, but Alya was small. Though Alya was healthy and athletic, the Devottee’s of Roarck believe that only by marrying physically strong and imposing woman can they ensure that their sons will be capable warriors. Alya did not look the part.
Though she was not without offers from among the Devotees. Alya chose to marry the lay warrior Rulund Drusselsky (Rulund would later drop the Sky suffix). Though not a landed noble or member of the church, Rulund was a favored warrior and rich with plunder from the war with Mota. Shortly after their marriage, Rulund joined baron Moltov in the invasion of Parna. Once in Parna, Drussel became one of the most powerful houses in the land.
Rulund spends most of his time away from court, attending his estates in the north or raiding foreign nations. Alya stays at the King’s court year round and works as a tireless advocate for her husband’s advancement.Alya and Rulund have two children together a daughter, also named Alya, and a son Alyart.
Politically and socially, Alya strongly dislikes the Ivanvil or Mitirangu presence at court, although she does enjoy disliking people. She would find the disruption in trade that would result from a conflict with the dwarves inconvenient, but otherwise she is largely indifferent to the question.
Skills and Abilities:
Alya’s primary asset is her self-serving and unsympathetic nature. Alya is never hindered by emotions or impulses such as gratitude, pity, mercy, charity, empathy or altruism. Alya has what should be described as a preternatural ability for deception and social artifice. This combination of charm and ruthlessness allow Alya to be a master at manipulation and deceit.
Aside from being a musical talent, Alya is also an excellent business woman. Alya’s paternal grandfather was a wealthy Sabatallee merchant and Alya learned much about the business of trade from that side of the family. She has been slowly building a monopoly on the fabric trade within north central Parna. Although most of her clothing is made by hired dress makers, she can sew somewhat and designs most of her own gowns.
Alya is also capable of violence and killing when it suits her purposes. She carries on her person at most times a small collapsible crossbow, and a dagger. She has no scruples with regard to taking another life, and enjoys the suffering of others.
Personal Weakness or Failings:
One might be tempted to call Alya’s narcissism, cruelty and ruthlessness personal weaknesses or failings. But in her hands these are strengths. The failings or weakness are those things that prevent her from realizing her goals.
Alya is exceptionally vain regarding her appearance and social standing. This need to be well regarded in the eyes of others often leaves Alya vulnerable, and often forces her to disguise her true self in order to maintain her image. This is all rooted in the fact that Alya lacks a rich internal life. As cruel and hateful towards other people as she is capable of being: she needs people. She needs to be affirmed and needs to dominate others in some capacity.
Alya’s vanity also colors her relationship with her daughter and her husband (she uninterested in her son who is being raised by the Church of Roarck). Alya sees her daughter as an extension of herself and thus is extremely protective and dominating of the girl. A threat to her daughter would be perceived as a threat to her. Thus in her own way Alya loves her daughter.
Alya hates her husband. Alya’s husband’s poor manners and constant public affairs wounds Alya’s pride (although she is not above using her husbands behavior as a tool to gain sympathy from others). Alya makes it a personal mission to destroy every extra-martial relationship Rulund has with a specific emphasis on harming his mistresses. This not because she is jealous, but because she believes it hurts her husband. What disturbs Alya most about her husband is that he truly knows her, and when around him all her defenses of charm and guile are useless. Her disgust and contempt for Rulund is so deep that it will occasionally causes her to take unnecessary risks just to wound the man.
Alya's true nature is not fully known to anyone save her husband, the older members of court may be cautious around her, but they do not know of what she is truly capable. Alya has personally tortured and killed several of her husband’s mistresses, and arranged for the death or maiming of others. Alya also enjoys tormenting strangers with a mind for charity or compassion. Her favorite game is to interest somebody in some act of philanthropy (for example protecting and caring for wounded war houses) and then destroying the object of that charity. If there is no elaborate game available Alya will content herself with subtly exposing the weakness and failings of a new friend in polite conversation. Alya is in league with the other two heads of the chimera to obtain proof that Queen is a traitor and then blackmail her.
Alya does not like having metal touch her bare skin and thus rarely wears jewelery. This distaste for the sensation of metal on flesh may cause her to pull away from the touch of silver or cold iron; things that may be indicative of demonic possession or an extra-planar being. This is not the case, metal touching her skin just grates on her.
Languages: Ator, Dwarven
Primary motivation : Vanity: Alya desires to be in complete control of her appearance both socially and physically.
Secondary motivation : Sadism. Alya is a sadist and enjoys harming others and inflicting pain and misery
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Female human Nob17: (5 ft., 1 in. tall);
hp 81; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 12;
Attack +12/+7/+2 melee, or +14/+9/+4 ranged; SV Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +10;
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 21.
Skills and feats: Appraise +13, Craft (Sewing) +3, Hide+2, Knowledge (Merchantilism) +20, Knowledge (Local) +18, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) +20, Bluff +18, Diplomacy +7, Perform (Dance) +26, Perform (String Instruments) +22, Sense Motive +9, Intimidate +7; Alertness, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (hand crossbow), Persuasive, Skill Focus (Perform (String Instruments)), Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Weapon Focus (dagger).