Shelandra looks the part of a powerful Necromantic Sorceress. She is tall, pale, and coldly beautiful. She has a castle that always seems to have a storm over it. She has pet monsters. She has a small personal army of Skeletons. She scares the peasants and makes the local nobles uneasy. However, if pressed, nobody can actually recall her doing anything really Evil.
Shelandra is a classic beauty; her skin is ultra pale, her features refined, and her body statuesk. Her dark, dark brown eyes border on black. Her raven hued hair is thick, wavey, and long.
She is actually dressed quite fashionably, if one is into black, bats, spiders, and skulls. She is quite the clothes horse, possessing a huge closet filled to the ceiling with fine gowns, dresses, footwear, hats, cloaks and more cloaks.
Her staff is your standard sorcerous aid, but she has enchanted it with the ability to 'call' and 'control' Children of the Night (Bats, Spiders, Owls, Wolves, Cats, and various nocturnal monsters. Once called, they will proceed towards her from where they are at their normal speeds. She has this ability as a spell, but using the staff is much less draining and much more effective.
She almost always has a notebook with her, constantly taking notes of things, jotting down spell ideas, fashion ideas, writing small poems, and so on.
She has a bound spirit in a mirror gifted with scrying abilities. It stays at home on a wall in her study. Yes, I know it is cliche, but such items are so useful.
Shel was a city girl, born to guild master parents. To say she was misunderstood growing up would be an understatement of mythic proportions. She would brood. She would pine away for love unknown. Nobody understood her facination with ... icky things. She would of been such a pretty girl, but she kept wearing funerary clothes (which did look quite smashing on her given her colors). And she never played with the other children outside, but kept to her corner with her dolls.
And there were the rumors. The dolls supposedly danced by themselves from time to time. People who were mean to her often had... accidents. She said you saw ghosts and talked to them from time to time. It was enough to keep everyone at arms length from her.
One day, she saw a man. He was an Evil Man, or so they said. Dark Magics. He came to town now and again from far away to get rare ingredients. Then he was gone as quickly as he left. She dwelled on the man. She learned all she could about him, from the merchants who dealt with him. She brooded for months thinking about him, thinking he might understand her or she might learn something from him.
So she told her mother she was going to see a man and might be back in a while. Her mother did not quite understand the gist of what was going on, but she let her go.
She travelled for some time, but finally reached his domain. (He had his own castle and the peasants attached to the lands called him lord!). The peasants tried to stop her from going to the castle, but she finally worked up the nerve to see him.
Not knowning any better, she simply went to the castle and knocked at the gate.
To be honest, Cheleckzar the Necromancer did not know what to make of her. She, to the end, confused him. He thought she wanted to be his apprentice. Since she had the talent and wasn't afraid of the zombies and monsters AT ALL, she either had the makings of a great necromancer or was totally daft. So he tried her out as an apprentice. He figured he could eventually bring her properly over to the Dark Side.
She did a fair job as his apprentice. He started her out with the basics. After that she tutored herself. She was vastly more organized and mater of fact than Cheleckzar. Not only did she organize his holdings, she actually collected the taxes from the local peasant (with the large 'thing' backing her up of course). She kept things running so he could go out and 'make them all pay!' and 'Get what is rightfully mine!'.
She took to his books like a duck to water. While Cheleckzar was out stealing things or bothering adventurers, She learned everything she wanted. Certain things were just gross, wrong, or inconvient (no human sacrifices for her). However, many of the spells in the necromantic sphere were fun: she talked with the ghosts in the castles, made ghouled seamstresses to make uniforms for the skeletal guards, made new monsters, captured various spirits waundering the land, performed classic plays by manipulating zombies and skeletons, bound spirits to instruments so they would play for her, and so on.
One day, Cheleckzar did not return from one of his expeditions. She kept things running. Eventually she realized he was not coming back. She had inherited his castle, his domains, his books, all his marvelous toys, and his position. (She did not realize he was not really a noble, he had just upsurped the castle and the lands).
Shelly presented herself to the local court one winter solstice feast as Shelandra Batwind. They were frightened of her, but treated her politely (lest they bring down the wrath of She who had taken over Cheleckzar's lands!). She looked and acted the part of a massively powerful Necromantic Sorceress, so people treated her such. 'She has no fear of us,' they whispered. 'She is obviously mighty enough that we are but fleas to her,' they continued. Since she made no real demands, they kept just trying to find ways to appease her. She became an uneasy fixture in the nobles' lives.
Every now and again she would intervened against those who are hypocrites or were unduely rude to her. Those that were rude, found themselves overrun by rats, bats, and other things. A few peasants who hit their wives found themselves hit by monsters. The noble who killed his wife, though professed to love her in public, was killed by his reanimated wife. Mostly she likes to 'educate' people through fear, rather than just kill them. She just administered a proper dose of justice when it suited her whim.
Using her mirror she often spies on people's lives. It is fun watching people scurry through their lives. If someone would gossip with her, she would be truly 'into it'. The mirror allows her to choose who gets justice quite directly.
Thus it continued for a number of years and looks to continue for a while.
The only recent development was the addition of a morose young poet to her undead staff. He is not dead yet, though he swears he will die of consumption some day soon. The two are a happy couple. They brood together. They watch the storms roll through. They read dark depressing poetry to each other. He is now the Dark Consort. He inflicts his poetry (which is not bad, if you can stomach the subject matter) on the nobles at every possible occasion.
She likes the trappings of Evil. She likes the Dark. She likes the way these things look and the way people react to them. She has a romantic notion of Evil. She sees herself as a tragic figure. Nobody really understands her.
To use the the 21st century gig, she is a Fashion Goth. She likes the look and the mystique, but she is not nearly depressed or angry enough to be really evil.
She tends to be silent most of the time, to appear more brooding and thoughtful. When she talks, she will take a bit. At least she has learned to check her youthful habit of talking a mile a minute once she gets started.
If exposed to daylight for long, her ultra fair skin will become so sunburned it will be painful and blister. She can stave this off by having a parisol and wearing clothing head to toe.
Several Dressmakers and traders in the local area extend her credit, just because they are afraid of her. She usually pays off her debts.
She buys the bodies from the local understaker. He uses zombies she provided to dig the supposed graves and do labor around his lands. She actually tried to buy bodies from the poor directly, but they balked at it. Which is a shame. Now they pay a few copper to the undertaker who sells them to her for a few copper more.
She likes going to the temple once a week just to make the local priest nervous.
She utterly hates hypocrites. It one of the only things that will make her mad. She might actually do some evil, but only if someone deserves it.
Note: Her castle is more admusement park than place of evil danger. Sure there are a few sentinel skeletons (all well dressed in spiffy black uniforms). The guards in the dungeon area are animated prisoners skeletons, with the prisoners being ex-living guards. There are cobwebs everywhere, except where you walk. The bats are frequent guests inside (where fruit is left out for them). It is specificaly dimly lit everywhere. The Evil Monsters are fairly tame and just look scary (though given a little motivation, they can revert back to their evil selves). It is all mostly for the show of being powerful and evil. While she is quite a powerful necromantic sorceress, she does not need to show it off.
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? Responses (27)-28
I can't believe you took the time to write all that. (And you seem to do that every day). It's beautiful. One such as that could really be useful in a RPG or story.
A fashionably dark, not really evil, necromancer - what a cool idea - I love it
I particularly like the way she sort of drifted into to - brilliant
This is borderline genius - easily 4.5
Oh my god, it is a Goth!
I can see the disbelief on faces of true heroes(tm) when they find out the vile sorceress is a just a girl that likes to dress Evil. With all the necromantic stuff of course.
I am mildly admused.
I love this character, the misunderstood goth-girl who did well by herself by studying under the stereotypical evil necromancer. In my opinion a true 5, because I cant wait to unleash this Lady into my game.
I know this girl! It is so darn funny to those of us who have larped a bit too much Vampire.
I hate Goths...
A very nice twist on the necromancer theme. I can easily see this fitting into my own setting. Thanks!
I WANT HER BABIES!
I love love love this post!
You, sir, have brought a honest smile to may face, for which I am grateful.
Soon, very soon, will she tread the lands in one of my games.
This amuses me terribly, and it's a real-feeling person.
This will get used, in one form or anther.
I echo manfred's sentiment here: I am mildly amused.
On the plus side this is very detailed and thorough. Not only do we have a female sorceress fully explained, but we have the entire region, her castle and all those dwelling within. We know her history and thus she is most easy to insert into a setting.
On the minus side she gives me Morticia Adams vibes. At times the comedy is a bit too much. For me comedy is essential, but I like to use it in small portions and not as an entire setting.
Just discovered this one today- brilliant. Love the image of her doing all the bureaucratic work while Cheleckzar is off cackling insanely and kicking puppies.
'Please forgive my butler, he is a little hard of hearing'
'NORBERT!!... ah, here you are...'
CUE TERRIFYING ZOMBIE SERVANT
'Now gentlemen, what would you like to drink?'
I had missed this comment before. This is not only extremely funny, but so in character for what would happen in her castle. Points for you Mr Dragon.
Think this my favorite NPC I've seen from you Moonhunter :)
Updated: updated spelling
Bump for gothiness.
Bump - this is just too good to be lost in the bowels of the database
Wow. Unbelievable that I missed this one. I'm not sure whether to be dismayed that you unleashed this form of insanity or congratulate you.
I just found this one and all I can do is echo the previous comments. Good job, MoonHunter, another fine piece of work.
I agree with everything said, this is a nice one, a light and fun idea and I hope to use it. These 'eccentrics' are often difficult to run as GM because you run the risk of it becoming the 'GM show'. There are some nice hints as to how to present this to a party indirectly in the roleplaying notes.
Very fun and confusing NPC. I thought that an enemy of the original necromancer may come to town and unsurp her from the castle. Not too long after the surrounding towns realize how good they have it and they all join forces to get her back! That may confuse some players enough when they are paid to help one necromantic sorceress defeat another. Why not defeat them both? Because her legend and rumor actually helps the town and they would rather have her than another baron or prince. Huh?
Dude, you are awesome. I wonder if this character could be made in to a PC.... (I got a sister who'd love this chick, ESPECIALLY if she could play her.)
Heh, I wish I'd seen this before. This is hilarious.
A well fleshed out 'red herring' character. Ultimately, Shelly is very useful for many purposes as she is a bit of a wild card. I see a lot of the wizard from 'The Wizard of Oz' in this submission as she is a 'scores a 10 in reputation and show but a 3 in ability' type of a character.
What other said, plus it could use a slight grammar check.
I'm surprised that I didn't notice this one before!
She's a fun NPC, perhaps a bit too benevolent for a villain, but certainly perfect for a 'role reversal' scenario....
The Bishop paced back and forth in agitation, his heavy, jewel-encrusted cassock rustling with every motion. 'The Rapacion Domains were once a prosperous domain, before the coming of that... woman! She claims lands that should belong to Mother Church, as their original possessors dictated in their wills, recently unearthed in our archives!'
Fury filled the porcine clergyman's eyes as he considered the land's taxes and tithes, now lost to him forever. 'Should your band free these benighted lands, 'tis certain that you would be well rewarded. Perhaps we could encourage the Crown to recognize your great deeds with a grant of lands and titles.'