Tall and slender with long, black hair and lightly tanned skin. Her dark brown eyes seem to carry a heavy burden within her soul.
Malcanthet aka: Malika Kaminska
Varisian Female Ranger 3
xp: ??? / 9000 to level
Speed: 30 ft.
Str 11, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk + 3; CMB +3, CMD 17
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+ 3 armor, + 4 Dex,)
HP 29 (d10 HD)
Fort + 4, Ref + 7, Will + 3
Melee: Rapier + 1 (1d6 / 18-20) Dagger x4 + 1/+ 5 thrown, (1d4 / 19-20)
Ranged: Long Comp. Bow + 7, + 5/+ 5 Rapid, (1d8/x3), +1 to hit within 30’
SKILLS: Acrobatics +5, Bluff + 0, Climb +6, Diplomacy +0, Disguise +0, Escape Artist +10, Handle Animal +0, Heal + 6, Intimidate + 6, Knowledge (Geography) + 7, Knowledge (Nature) +6, Perception +8, Perform () +x, Ride +4, Sense Motive +2, Spellcraft +x, Stealth +10, Survival +8, Swim -1,
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim
Special Abilities: Track, Wild Empathy, Favored Enemy(Humans), Combat Style Feat: Precise Shot, Endurance, Favored Terrain (Urban)
Traits: Reactionary +2 Init., Vagabond Child +1 Escape Artist
Languages: Varisian, Common, Elven,
COMBAT GEAR: composite longbow with 60 arrows, Rapier, 4 x Daggers, 2 x Thunderstone,
Armor: Studded Leather
OTHER GEAR: backpack, bedroll, explorer’s outfit, torch (x2), flint and steel, grappling hook, silk rope (50 ft.), Trail Rations (x4), 0 pp, 108 gp, 0 sp,
I was born on the side of the road between Riddleport and Hell itself somewhere in the wilds of Varisia. I grew up traveling with my nomadic family who were a sept of the Desmondonna Clan. Every fourth year, all the families of the Clan would gather in some remote part of Varisia and erect a city made of wagons, carts, tents and brightly colored swags of fabric strewn everywhere. The Gathering, as it is known, was a time to share tales collected from across Golarion, drink, dance, sing and play for days on end. But before the transient city would fall, the elders would always hold somber and secret meetings in private. I can only imagine the things they spoke of and while these meetings often took only two or three days’ time, sometimes they lasted the better part of a week; ample time for the rest of The Gathering to recover and start celebrating anew. Alas, as quickly as the city was built, it was packed away on a thousand carts and disappeared into the misty morning, leaving nothing but cold fire pits dotting the landscape. These were my fondest memories growing up, for in such a place as The Gathering, I could disappear from my hard life, endlessly traveling the roads, and be a part of a larger spirit, a spirit of laughter, joy and love. I could sit for hours listening to the unbelievable stories from places as far away as The Field of Maidens and even lands so remote, they have not even been named on a map. I would walk among all the camps of my kin, seeing all the fantastical wares they had crafted themselves or acquired from faraway lands. However, despite the fascinating sensory overload, my favorite part of The Gatherings was getting to see my Auntie Sabina. She is a Harrower and I was always entranced by her mystical powers to divine the futures of others. Every Gathering I would find her tent and spend as much time socializing with her as I could. I would often play her assistant when a “Seeker of Truth” paid her a visit and as she performed her art I gave every attention to try and glean the secrets from her in hopes of one day becoming a Harrower too. Divinely knowing what I held in my heart, she sat me down one night, 3 years past, and read the cards that told of my future; my destiny. She told me that I had the potential to be the greatest Harrower in all the lands of the Inner Sea, but that I was meant to accomplish something far more important. Exactly what, she could not foresee, for it was shrouded in a swirling mist that she could not penetrate. A mist she had never before encountered. Needless to say I was heartbroken at such news, but my Auntie was an expert of diplomacy. “Reach your destiny, My Heart,” she said to me as she wrapped me in her arms, “and you will know joy and fulfillment that no Harrow deck could ever provide.” Alas, it was only two days later that the camp dispersed and I was back to my hard, boring existence on the road, embroidering scarves, gathering firewood and hunting for dinner each night.
Not a moment passed that I did not ponder and stew over the destiny the Harrow cards had foretold. I was excited that I would, one day, shed the mantle of my mundane existence for greatness, but I had no idea that the commencement of this journey would fall upon me as quickly and terrifyingly as a dragons’ shadow. Just a few days had passed since The Gathering had dissipated. Several families of our kin, eighty three souls in all, had decided to travel with us until Turtleback Ferry before venturing off on their own. Along the way we met a quartet of sibling sisters, “Exotic Performers from Beyond the Arcadian,” they hailed themselves. Dressed from head to toe in colorful feathered hats, provocative bodices, jet black boots with high heels and slitted skirts, their attire left very little to the imagination. They were, indeed, exotic for I had never seen such a flock of female perfection. I am ashamed to say I was quite jealous of the attention they garnered from all the men, even the boys. The Sisters were travelling alone in their horse drawn wagon and asked if they could join us on the road to Turtleback and invited anyone who wished to continue escorting them to Kaer Maga. Of course there were several volunteers. Fortunately, I had more important thoughts to concentrate on than my envy.
Later that day, we left the main road and clustered the wagons together to prepare for night fall. Spotting a nearby copse, I thought I could hunt some small game for our meal. I had become a fair shot with the worn, aged, yew shortbow my father gifted me for Sunwrought nine years past. Carefully, I made my way towards the small woods and scanned the flora for animal sign. The noise of the camp was far enough off and the sun was moments from setting. I crept down among the tall grass and weeds, found a nice hide at the edge of the copse and settled in to watch and listen.
At first I thought the setting sun had flared behind me. I turned to face back towards the camp, squinting in the setting sun and that is when the thunderous roar of the explosion assaulted my ears. Another flash of intense flame engulfed the twilight and before I could see the backlit shadows of the camp, another ear splitting crack struck me. Struggling to gather wits enough to dash from my hide, I saw the heavy columns of black smoke rising from the camp and only then could I hear the distant screams of my kin. Not the screams of alarm but the screams of the tormented and dying. Fear then washed over me. A fear that gripped my heart and ran as ice through my veins. I was frozen and could not make my body move to help them. It looked as if the setting sun had set ablaze the entire camp. I tried desperately to force myself to take a breath, to scream, but only a choked whimper escaped my throat. My hands were shaking so violently I dropped my bow to the ground. I could only feel the tears streaming down my face and watch in petrified horror as everyone and everything that was my life incinerated before me. Then I heard the laughter.
Transfused within their screams of agony and suffering I could hear the faint tittering and cackling of female voices. Their cachinnation broke the spell of fear within and infused me, instead, with a flood of anger, hatred and rage like I have never experienced before or since. I scooped up my bow, nocked an arrow and charged from my hide, sprinting towards the inferno. I remember screaming out like a terrified toddler for my Mother and Father. Every wagon seemed to be ablaze and though the screams seemed to cease, it was replaced by the crackle and roar of the burning homes, though the laughter was clear and boisterous. I circled the burning wreckage looking for a vantage that I might get closer to identify the female voices, but the intense heat and acrid smoke seemed an impenetrable wall.
“No! No! No! Why have you done this?” I wailed through tears of despair, “Why?” I kept repeating, my throat raw from screaming, not knowing what to expect in reply.
The two closest wagons abruptly flipped onto their sides, erupting a dense cloud of embers, and were brushed aside by giant unseen hands creating an opening within the circle of fire. I could see more clearly the center of camp and, more importantly, who perpetrated this massacre of my family. Two of the “exotic” women, now completely naked and wreathed in flame, each held aloft the charred corpse of one of my kin. They giggled, twirled and swayed around their fiery dance floor in a macabre saltarello. The third woman lounged, unclothed, atop a pile of smoldering bones and watched the gruesome promenade, cheering and laughing hysterically. The fourth now stood, staring at me, only a few paces away, a perfect female specimen. Her undraped body lit by the flickering fires of the camp. Intense heat and ember sparks swirled through her long, scarlet locks and yet she was unscathed.
“Look what I found, Sisters,” purred the sultry voice from her fanged mouth, “We still have one more toy not yet broken.” A sinister smile crawled across her face and she began to slowly close the distance between us. “Fear us not, little girl, we promise to be gentle with you,” she rose her arms toward me offering an embrace.
Rage mixed with adrenaline allowed me to draw my bow and aim at the creatures face. The heat was unbearable and I could feel the courage draining quickly from me while helplessness and fear welled up in its place. My eyes began to blur from tears of anguish so I loosed my arrow. The short, wooden shaft flew straight and true towards the forehead of the fiendish woman and burst into a puff of glowing ash before it could strike. I could only scream in frustration and woe.
Without blinking, the shapely, naked woman continued forward, “There, there, poor girl,” she pouted, “Do not cry. I will take care of you.” She laid her slender hands on my shoulders and pressed her lithe body against me, “Let me kiss you and make it all better.”
I tried to turn and run, but sorrow deadened my body. I wanted this to all go away. I wanted to wake from this horrific nightmare. I wanted her kiss. I closed my eyes and sobbed, waiting for an end to my pain.
My ears filled with pounding thunder, my lip felt a gentle brush before I was violently hurled to ground, hitting my head. I fought past the dizziness and nausea, forcing my eyes to open. The blurred vision of a shapely woman unfurled large, jagged wings and moved to leap upwards, but was interrupted by a larger, glinting blur that tackled her mid jump and tore her asunder with mighty blows. I heard the deep voice of a man shouting in a strange language. An otherworldly shriek pierced the air. The large glinting blur, stood over me and I felt a touch on my forehead. A rush of tingling energy flowed through my whole body, clearing my head and returning my sight.
”Rest easy, my young lady,” rumbled the shining armor-clad warrior, “On my honor, you shall not perish this day.” He turned and charged into fiery maelstrom of the camp.
Sitting up, I noticed the blood stains upon my shirt. My bow lay charred and useless nearby. Shivers flew up my spine as I felt a large presence approach from behind me. My heart raced with terror, as I slowly turned my head, only to meet the friendly face of a massive horse in shining barding. It stepped up beside me, blew a long breath from his nose and attentively watched the flames, ears perked and listening as the warrior continued to bellow in his strange language from somewhere inside the camp while the creatures within replied with spitting hisses and shrieks. I could see one of the winged women perched atop a rock outcrop at the edge of the camp. She seemed to be watching the confrontation intently, as if she was an alchemist observing an experiment, while the other two danced and slithered around the warrior, flanking from different angles. One leapt upon him from behind and flailed her clawed hands across his face and armored chest, but he did not waver and with great focus he reached up, grasping it by the throat with one gauntleted fist, while the glowing sword in his other hand dealt powerful slashing blows that cut down the creature before him turning it to ashen dust. He spun around, still gripping the creatures’ throat and used the momentum to hurl her to ground with a sickening thud. She scrambled to stand, but the warriors’ sword spun in his hand and thrust downward, sinking through her bare chest. Her body convulsed and shuddered, around the gleaming steel that pinned her to the smoking ground. A clawed hand feebly reached up for the warrior before her body collapsed in a heap of ashes. I shot a quick glance to where the last creature was perched, but it had vanished. I stood on my wobbly legs and forced myself to move towards the blistering heat to try and warn him of the unseen danger.
”There was one up there," I pointed to the rocks.
The warrior turned to me, crimson rivers flowed across his face, “Stay back, my young lady, this is no place for you,” he kindly warned then went to task tearing apart flaming wagons searching for survivors. Somehow the horse understood and his massive head reached down and gently pushed me back from the flames. Occasionally, through the din, I heard the warrior bellow the Varisian words, “Call out if you can! I am here to rescue you!” Alas, there was no reply. I sat in exhausted stupor, staring at the mesmerizing dance of the flames, trying to make sense of all that had just happened. Several minutes passed. The sun had disappeared completely but the immense bonfire lit the night sky. It seemed an eternity passed when the warrior emerged from the smoke and flames, coughing and spitting. His once shiny armor was now stained with ash and blood. He strode slowly, tears of sadness flowed down the jagged wounds upon his soot smeared face, and he knelt down before me and leaned upon the hilt of his glowing sword.
“I … I could not save anyone else,” he spoke with downcast eyes, “I am so very sorry. I have failed you this night. I have failed Iomedae. Please forgive me, my young lady,” he lifted his gaze to the smoky heavens, “Please forgive me, My Goddess,” more tears trickled from this powerful man as he closed his eyes, bowed his head and sobbed gently.
My eyes grew wide at his apologetic words, “Noble Warrior, how can you take responsibility for the horror that befell my family tonight?”
”I did not get here in time,” he straightened up, trying to regain some feigned composure, “They came unto this realm through an ancient portal lost in the damnable darkness beneath the Kodar Mountains. I learned of villages, far to the north, between Guiltspur and The Storval Deep being razed to the ground and all their inhabitants brutally slain. I have been in diligent pursuit of those demon-bitches for the last…” he looked away, embarrassed, “Apologies, my young lady; there is no excuse for my profanity,” he cleared more smoke from his throat and continued, “I, and many others of my Order, have been pursuing them for a fortnight. Five days ago, they attacked a Mission-Temple of Desna near the village of Lochheed along the southern edge of the Storval Deep. I arrived in time to thwart their attack on the priory and orphanage, though I was wounded quite severely. My humble gifts of healing were not enough, however, and I could not press their retreat until the next day. They fled south along a caravan route and I relentlessly followed their bloody trail stopping only to water my noble friend, Alyce,” The war horse nickered softly at her mention and nuzzled the warriors’ broad shoulder. “I was not half a league away when I heard the echo of the first explosion within your camp. Alyce and I sped here as fast as we could. Iomedae sent me to destroy those Demon-sisters, banish them back to the Abyss, and stop the senseless bloodshed. I could not save your kin and the last sister is still out there somewhere. That is why I have failed. And, though I am not deserving, is also why I humbly beg your forgiveness, my young lady.”
I was so emotionally devastated and overwhelmed by this eve’s tragedy, the only response I could give , was to wrap my arms around his neck, hold him close and cry. I felt him place a sympathetic hand on my back to return the embrace. Never in my life had I hugged a person in armor and it felt like trying to connect with someone through a wall. There was no comfort or warmth in it and was even a bit painful, but it was all that I had, so I let my tears flood. I cried with abandon until the last drop trickled from my exhausted body and I fell asleep.
Nearly two days passed before I awoke from a strangely peaceful sleep. Though the fire and destruction tried to invade as nightmares, they were always swept away by memories of Gatherings. Auntie Sabina was always there with comforting smiles and reminding me how much I was loved. There were also times of dark oblivion, where I was surrounded by nothingness, but before the feelings of loneliness, emptiness and despair could consume me, light replaced dark and I was surrounded by love and happiness though I could never see from whence it came.
I was tucked into a warm, comfortable bed in a room lit by a small fireplace. Normally the crackling of the logs and the rollicking flames gave me ease and good cheer, but I was awake now and haunting memories flooded my mind unceasingly. My stomach tightened, my heart raced and I felt sick, had I eaten anything these last days, I probably would have spit it up. I wanted to cry and yet I could not. I had no tears to shed, just an emptiness inside me.
The door to the room opened slowly and a kindly looking woman with long wavy black hair, garbed in a simple muslin chemise with a forest green bodice and matching skirt peeked her head inside. Despite her green tinged skin and a pair of small tusks, she beamed with a toothy, yet friendly smile and greeted me warmly, “Welcome to the world of the living, young miss! Thank Desna you are awake!