A slender woman of elfin build, Fionna Garibaldi stands a mere 4’ 10” tall, with skin fair as porcelain and deep brown eyes. Her lips are a deep red, contrasting with her otherwise pale features. Clad in fine clothing and jewelry, Fionna carries herself with delicate grace. She wears her hair long, often putting it up in the elaborate styles fashionable among the nobility.
Those meeting Fionna are often struck by her impeccable courtesy and lively manner. A well-informed and knowledgeable woman, she is able to lead intelligent conversations on almost any subject.
Born in a flourishing trading nation in the Renaissance, Fionna was the daughter of a modest merchant. She was raised in a wealthy coastal town, where her father ensured that she was well-educated. He tried to shelter his daughter from the troubles of the outside world as much as he could, but this did not stop her keen mind from soaking up knowledge from books, learning a good deal about history and politics.
While she was a young woman, her father died, leaving her in the care of her older brother Giacomo. Taking the reins of his father’s business, Giacomo brought her with him on voyages all over the continent; her skill with languages and persuasion proved invaluable to his business. The sheltered girl was surprised by the grim lives many peasants and commoners endured and vowed never to end up like that. She desperately clung to the nobility she encountered, trying to gain the favor of various lords to raise her social standing. She closed her eyes to the injustice and suffering of the common folk, diving into the revelry of the nobles instead.
One way that a woman of Fionna’s wit could advance herself was to become a tutor of young nobles, teaching music, manners, languages, and important social skills. She hoped that one of these nobles, bored of inbred countesses and baronesses, would choose her for his bride. Naively at first, then in increasing desperation, she slept with many of these men. In her many relationships, she soon discovered that she was infertile, a secret she hid desperately from her noble partners: She was not suited to be a noble’s bride, since she could not bear a successor.
There were many men in her life, too many to mention, but one was outstanding: Theobald von Grimwald, a noble from a militant empire, who was not only quick-witted, and surrounded by a halo of charm and grace, but was also a talented politician and spirited historian. Fionna was instantly lost in his deep blue eyes and his intelligent smile: It was as if they shared a single soul. Fionna’s dreams came true when she was asked whether she wanted to join him “for all eternity, until death parts us.”
That night, her love revealed his vampiric nature as his fangs sunk in her neck, draining the very last spark of life from her, while the nobleman’s dead blood blessed her with unlife for eternity to come.
Her enthusiasm dimmed when she discovered that she no longer could feel the warmth of the sun’s rays or the dancing flame. At first, she simply refused to acknowledge the fact that she now was one of the Kindred. Refusing any attempt to feed her, she remained without blood for almost a week, barely containing the “beast” inside. When she no longer was in control of her wits, a serving wench stumbled into her chambers, only to find a very-out-of-control lady Grimwald. This was the first time Fionna tasted a mortal’s blood, but from then on she decided to keep the beast well-fed so that this might never happen again.
Theobald rejoiced upon having discovered the change Fionna experienced, believing all was well. Unfortunately, the serving maid’s body was soon discovered, and an enraged peasant mob sacked the manor, setting it ablaze. The only one to escape was Fionna and a faithful servant of the count, an old woman who had known the count from infancy. Theobald was overwhelmed by the mob when trying to keep them from passing through the manor’s gates, then cast down into the roaring flames.
Fionna escaped the carnage, while old Hildegard perished on the flight. Alone and overcome with grief, the widowed countess wanted to lie on a secluded forest clearing for the dawn to bring the final release to her. When the sunrise approached, Fionna could not find the courage to face the sun and fled into the shadows.
Since that day, her deepest yearning was to find someone who would remind her of her Theobald. In many ways, she has continued her former lifestyle, with one difference: Whenever a man has shared her bed, he has been surprised by a very wild and frenzied Fionna. Her despair over her lost husband rises to the surface and she becomes irrational, furious at the man who “tried to pretend he was Theobald”.
While Fionna is still charming, brilliant and beautiful to behold, witty and knowledgeable, all this is a mask covering her torn and unbalanced psyche.
Fionna is disturbed and desperate - she has known what she can attain, and lost it all. She desperately tries to remain in high society, resorting to ANY means necessary. She could be considered sociopathic, as she will steal, lie, cheat, sweet-talk, or blackmail to reach her goals, and fail to see anything wrong with it.
She is strongly attracted to tall men with fair hair and blue eyes, but should she succeed at seducing them, will invariably take revenge on them for their ‘pretension’. Should she finally find someone who is almost Theobald’s perfect twin, she will become loyal like a puppy.
In other regards, Fionna behaves very rationally: She doesn’t insult anyone, keeps herself well-fed to lull her beast into sleep, never feeds off someone important, and covers up her tracks. Her heart is still young and fiery, delighted by poetry, or a bouquet of flowers. The truly enjoys a walk on the city walls in the rain, or a candlelight dinner.
Hers is a bright spirit, and thus she is interested in many matters, from the newest technology or magic, to matters of politics and art. She shrewdly deduces how she may use these things to her advantage. In the end, she sees anyone and anything as tools to be exploited: All that is important is Fionna and her love. Still, the young lady is not stupid, and will not betray someone who thinks himself her friend for a minor benefit: She knows the value of good allies. She can be expected to keep a bargain if she sees more profitable ones in the future.
Encounters With Fionna
Fionna Garibaldi may be encountered as the teacher of some noble, another noble’s inamorata, or as a minor “player” at court.
The PCs could become involved in one of many ways: Perhaps she has murdered a handsome (fair and blue-eyed) noble, and they investigate. If they learn of her mental problems and one of them masks himself to resemble Theobald, they may gain an ally loyal to the core, yet beware if the disguise fails. Likewise, some villain might already be using her to do his bidding, and the PCs could rescue her.
Fionna will have the regular vampiric abilities, but the following are most pronounced:
While she lacks most of the brute vampiric strength, she is highly resilient, able to withstand fire and even walk in sunlight for short periods of time. She is bound to no coffin, and does not go lethargic during daytime.
Her ability to influence and charm others is highly developed, with many Mind Control and Communication spells at her disposal.