Xindarli, the Woman in White
First, you get the gold. Then you get the power. I could care about the women, I've had the men in the palm of my hand since I was 17.
Memoirs of Wealth, excerpt
Xindarli is of average appearance for a woman from Cambor. Her skin has a dark olive caste to it, and her eyes are large and a peculiar shade of green. Far from the typical emerald or jade green, hers are a lighter and brighter shade closer to peridot. Most men find her attractive is a base manner, as her hips are accomodating, her chest pleasantly filled out, and her face as generous as it is sensuous. She doesnt speak often, partly from being brough up in a place were women and children are rarely seen, let alone heard and the fact that she is an intelligent woman who happens to have close to nothing in terms of a formal education.
She favors clothing of current style, but made of the best materials and a minimalist approach to jewelry and ornamentation that focuses on value over sheer flash value. She has long since won the appelation of being the Woman in White for her preference for wearing riding dresses of white silk embroidered with silver thread. She has several pieces of pearl jewelry, as well as a few pieces of white opal and silver.
While a great many thieves and beggars hail from the squallor of Cambor, few of any ambition and great skill make the same claim. There is a certain air about that place that devours ambition and replaces it with cool apathy. Xindarli was a rare girl in such of place of broken horses and desperation. She was a bright child who quickly grew into a beautiful young girl. She could have been a real beauty if not for the fact that her youth was one of petty pickpocketing and pretty-eyed-girl scams on travelers on the Bindlestiff Roads, rather than learning words of poetry and eating good meals. Her quick wit and agility kept her from becoming yet another Camborian whore; instead she became a courier for her uncle Plakla.
It was not long until the young woman was well accustomed to the roads between Cambor, and the other cities of the region. She was trusted to carry messages, as well as sealed orders and such for Plakla's contacts in the larger cities. Coming from a place of filthy-faced poverty, Xindarli was astonished by seeing men eating heartily from plates of gold and silver, sipping from goblets of the same precious metals. This filled her with a bitter hatred of the wood and unfired clay that was so prevalent in Cambor, and the meager meals of whatever had died that day and no longer good for grueling labor.
There is much that can be said for the power of a woman's smile, or a subtle yet awesome power of properly applied innuendo. While other young girls grew into roles as being bare-foot wives, or copper piece prostitutes, Xindarli rose in favor with her uncle. Slowly she gained respect from the other members of his personal circle. She accepted her entrance into her uncle's guild with a half smirk, and within 2 years had found her own place among them. Any other person might have been content with the power and relative wealth Xindarli had accrued at that point, but she had a dream.
Plakla rasped quietly, clawing ineffectively at the garrote wire, and after he was dead, Xindarli quickly took over the guild. It was nothing personal but she had no intention of being married off to another promising rogue, or waiting until uncle passed away of his own volition. Her ascencion within the guild was largely unopposed. Those who spoke against her were either outnumbered, or quickly turned up face down in the turgid waters of the Loth Etrit river.
Eventually Xindarli left Cambor for good. Taking a large stash of gold, her contacts, and a hefty amount of drugs with her, she set herself up in the more urban and populated city of Tekne. Within a short span of years, Xindarli assumed the mantle of the local Thieves Guild through a mix of guile, diplomacy, and midnight assassination.
The Golden Night
The time of Xindarli's reign is often referred to as the Golden Night as during her decade as the head of the Thieves Guild, she enjoyed nearly unrivaled power, exceding the power of most, if not all, of the city's many nobles. She became insanely wealthy and under her, her minions found themselves beset with treasure, power, and respect. Her thieves had a nearly open run of the city and during that time crime became endemic, people locked their doors at all hours and many felt the city itself was under siege.
The White Palace - Formerly the manse of a middling noble with a carpet-title, Xindarli adopted the locale as her base of operations. Rather than being sequestered and hidden, anyone could find her. This worked in her favor as it meant no one could really sneak up on her either. The house is large, has a low wall, stables, and other amenities. She dispenced not only drugs and prostitution from the white palace, but also alms to the local church as well as sponsoring many local celebrations and charities.
Xindarli's Cache - Formerly a brothel of low quality in Tekne, the Cache was opened partially as a brothel/tavern, but also as a non-wizarding money lender. Despite her ruthless ambitions and less than legal operations, Xindarli and her minions retained a consistant aura of proper behavior, never skulking about like criminals or hiding like low-lifes.
Xindarli's Little Friend - Most assumed when Xindarli spoke of her little friend she was speaking of some relic of a love god or goddess, a flippant toy. Quite the opposite, her little friend was actually a magic wand made from cherry wood. With the proper incantion and gesture, the wand could produce a magic missle equivalent to a shot from a shortbow, or with a larger gesture, a medium sized fireball.
The White Dress - Rumored to be magical, this dress of magically reinforced silk protects the wearer from magical scrying and divination spells.
Nothing lasts forever, and Xindarli's reign ends as violently as it began. A coalition of other thieves sought to bring down the Camborian Whore who thought to make herself a Queen of Thieves. The Golden Night ended with battles during the night between members of both factions. Important people in the guard and among the nobles were being assassinated faster than contracts could be signed and dried. The shadow war culminated in the foyer of the White Palace with Xindarli facing the three strongest of the thief guildmasters who sought to bring her down. Of the three, only one survived and only just.
The White Palace was burned to the ground, taking roughly 1/6th of Tekne with it in the process. Xindarli's knife and arrow studded corpse was lost to the flames and never recovered so some claim that somehow the Queen of Tekne survived and bides her time. The Cache was looted, but the coffers were all but empty by that time.
The Golden Night - With Xindarli sitting as the Queen of Thieves and with most of Tekne under her thumb, it is thieve's rule. A thief heavy party can have a chance to really show off, rather than skulk, in this setting. They can end up doing jobs for Xindarli, or working for one of the three bosses who later decide that the Woman in White needs to take a fall.
Say Hello to my Little Friend! - The coup de grace has come and the PCs are involved in a shadow war between Xindarli's minions and the Guild's minions. Either side will be fine, but body counts will be high, the people will be scared, and gold will flow as fast as water and blood. The PCs can be involved in the final assault against the White Palace, or it's defence.
Xindarli's Gold - The Queen of Thieves left very little behind in the way of loot and treasure. Some rational folk claim that it was squandered away during her reign and certainly so during the shadow war. Others claim that her treasure remains hidden somewhere. Perhaps under the ruins of the palace, or shipped back to Cambor and hidden, no one knows but plenty will search for it. Insert a suitable dingus into the trove and the PCs have a reason to hunt for it if GP alone isnt enough.
Xindarli's Ghost - The locals are terrified, a spectre has appeared in the structure built over the ruins of the White Palace. Xindarli's restless spirit remains, potent in it's place of death, and seeks to drive intruders away casting ghostly blasts of blue flame that sap willpower and cause weakness rather than burns. The PCs are hired to assuage the spirit and get her to go away, the problem is no one knows where her corpse went after the battle ended...
Xindarli's Heir - A young woman appears, claiming to be the lost daughter of Xindarli and quickly, though discretely gains prominence in the thieve's guild. She can interact with the PCs as she gains influence and start as a henchman for a SHORT while before rising past them. Truth of the matter is that Xindarli never died, instead she escaped via magic, leaving a sorcerous clone behind to fight and convincingly perish. Having discovered an elixer that turned her from a brittle old crone into a 20 year old strip of a woman, she returns older and wiser for round two...and the PCs can rise with her or fall at her feet.
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? Responses (5)-5
This submission works for me. It gives motivation, background, and drama for the submission. Once intergrated into a setting, she could be an interesting addition to a campaign.
I am a little tired of the pretty girl becomes crimelord/ assassin/ uber criminal cliche which has been prevolent in the fantasy fiction right now, but still a very nice piece.
Puts me in mind of Theives World somehow. Nice piece.
This F*@%ing fantastic.
Points of praise
Sweep of time, you give us whole epic story in a really concise presentation. If we were to look at this as a gaming resource you just increased the usefullness by at least 4, by allowing the gamers or the DM to step in at any point.
Tone: You kept a solid voice through out, I think Moonhunter has a point about this being done, but the strong prose makes for nice read and smooth presentation of information.
Personality: You gives us a lot of details about her, but you also leave her depths somewhat blank. There is a word for that dramatic theory, I forget it, but a somewhat blank character with only a few details, makes said character more accessible to the audience.
Good stuff! The 'Golden Night' is an evocative turn of phrase.