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Thread: The Lioness

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    The Lioness

    Discussion thread for The Lioness. If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    This NPC is purely fan fiction but I feel like I have to explain the motivation behind it. It started after I had watched the Jet Li/Jackie Chan movie "The Forbidden Kingdom". One of the characters in this movie can do amazing things with her hair and I was thinking that it would be nice to make an NPC for Birthright that could do something similar. I felt that there weren't enough ehrsheghlein so she would have to be one of them and not enough had been done yet related to Laerme, so she should be a worshipper of Laerme. The result was the Lioness.

    I wanted the Lioness to have:

    The skills, feats and blood abilities listed were based on those points.

    The bits I need help from the rest of you are:
    • deciding how many levels of each class she should have
    • deciding her bloodline strength
    • picking her final selection of feats, skills and blood abilities, given her levels and bloodline strength

    I am not a D&D3.5 player so I'm not good at doing these things and making her a sensible NPC.

    Sorontar

  3. #3
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    Well, that is interesting. I assume that she'll be Anduiras-blooded and perhaps a foil for the Lamia? Which region will she be in and race/subrace do you want her to be?

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I presume you haven't seen the wiki page because most of these questions are answered there.

    I was always picturing her as an up-and-coming regent, which is why I have made her fighting force, Ilia's Pride, just be a level 0 law holding and "her" temple, the Shrine of the Hand and Heart, be a level 0 temple holding. I was searching for a good Khinasi place to place here but the only one that seemed sensible was Sendoure because:
    • The climate would support the idea of her father having a horse stud
    • The Emir really didn't look outside his cities, so a level 0 law holding could work
    • The only existing religion was already Leira but this was being managed from outside Sendoure and had an aggressive approach to the teachings of the Goddess, which would be opposite to much of what the Lioness would believe in
    • Sendoure makes it easy to work halflings, like her lieutenant, into the "story".


    Yes, I gave her the Anduiras bloodline to make the association with lions easier, but the only way she will be lion-like will be her "mane/long hair" and the golden tinge to her black skin and brown hair. She is a female Khinasi human but Sendoure is on the border of Brechtur (amongst other places) so I would not expect her to have strictly Khinasi traditions. Hence her name is Sharani K'gora, not Sharani bint Hirani. And she is CG (or NG).

    I realise that there are various Awnies that seem similar in the Charisma stakes and have lion-like appearances, but the Lioness isn't intended as a foil to them. That is one of the reasons that I didn't want to make her too much a "lion". I mean, Binsada has a military force called the Lions (I think) and the Sphinx has taken over to the south of Sendoure. The Lamia is further to the east. I called her the Lioness mainly because I couldn't think of any other animal that is known for its hair (which is her main unique asset), and was an animal that would be known to the Khinasi. And her "caring for good of the community" apporach seemed motherly and appropriate for a lioness.

    I am quite surprised that there isn't at least one Ehrshegh that controls a province in Cerilia. After all, an Ehrshegh doesn't have to be a goody-two shoes. It just has to have a bloodline other than Azrai and Bloodtrait. It can theoretically still be NE and be an Ehrshegh.

    Sorontar.
    Last edited by Sorontar; 10-03-2008 at 12:06 AM.
    Sorontar
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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I think I need to explain my idea of how the Lioness would use her Charisma.

    She is a bard. That is her primary training. She has only received a little warrior/tactical training beyond what a bard would normally know. She is also physically gorgeous. That has been her problem all her life. Now she has a church that listens to her and a force of warriors that follow her command, so she can dictate within her circle/court/community what is right and what is wrong. Hence, she is regent of a level 0 law holding.

    The Lioness uses her charm and character reading abilities to read the "truth" out of people. This is good for her diplomacy and trade and helps her get fair deals. While the law holding acts as a militia, it also occassionally acts as a mercenary force to help "those in need". This need is sometimes revenge on matters of the heart. However, the Lioness likes to be able to confirm first that it is the heart and not greed or envy that is the cause of the need. For this she uses her bardic skills and charisma to get the truth from the client as well as from the target of the client. Only then will she plan what her military force should do to help the client. So she does "go on adventures" to find this truth.

    Unlike the Lamia, she does not use her Charisma to blindly charm people to become followers. She is presently "good" alignment, not "evil".

    Sorontar
    Last edited by Sorontar; 10-03-2008 at 06:22 AM. Reason: reword ambiguous opening sentence

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sorontar View Post
    I called her the Lioness mainly because I couldn't think of any other animal that is known for its hair (which is her main unique asset), and was an animal that would be known to the Khinasi. And her "caring for good of the community" apporach seemed motherly and appropriate for a lioness.
    Hmmmm lets come up with some good animals.

    - Troll Doll. Would be better if she was a halfling with crazy hair though.
    - Fluffy Kitten.

    The good thing with Birthright is that the name doesn't have to match the ability. The Minataur is the good example.

    On the other side you don't have to keep with Anduiras bloodline at all if she really has nothing to do with a Lion other than the name, which it sounds like.

    Because of the hair I can see many folks giving her the name Lioness. But there must be some other animal or even plant that she seems to take the characteristics of. She is heading down a path as an Ehrshegh. If she keeps using her powers and growing in power what will she become? Will she never change?

    I do like it though. Keep up the good work.

    -BB

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    A golden monkey (see the golden compass) has long hair, is attractive, sociable, etc...

    Yeti's, highland cattle, etc have long hair but are really at the wrong end of the animal spectrum...

    Trouble is long hair tends to equal unkempt mess if you aren't careful. You need something beautiful - and suitable for a hot area ruling out cold creatures and leaving mostly jungle animals.

    Medusa? Noted for her hair, and something of a stunner (before and after annoying aphrodite)...

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:54 AM 10/3/2008, bbeau22 wrote:
    >The good thing with Birthright is that the name doesn`t have to match the ability. The Minataur is the good example.

    This is very true.... Naming awnshegh is sometimes a problem because it`s not easy to come up with a good descriptor in one word. I've put a lot of incidental time and thought into the whole issue of awnshegh/ershegh names, though, so let me ruminate for a bit before I get to what I think is the most appropriate name for this character.

    In this case, "Lioness" seems a little more than the usual differences in terms of actual powers, and even the name "Lioness" seems a little off because (at least in my mind) the association with hair and lions is for the male of the species.... The colour commentary definitely has a nice, lion-y flavour to it, which is important, but since the only connection to lions is her name, if she were named something that had more to do with her "hair-powers" then that stuff might not be appropriate either, and some of the background material might go another direction that goes more in line with her actual abilities.

    So I think a name that had to do with her hair might make sense. However, there aren`t a lot of good monstrous names that are based on "hair." One couldn't call her the Pompadour and expect readers to take the idea seriously. I`d first suggest a kind of nickname concoction. "Rhuobhe Manslayer" is the most obvious example of this being done with awnsheghlien names in the BR materials. A few minor awnsheghlien also use this kind of convention.

    With that in mind, consider some combination of her given name with something that describes her powers. Either her first name or family
    name along with an aptinym/nickname. Or she could have a name that is a compound word based on her hair power along with some sort of adjective if that combo is strong enough. Some combo of an adjective with mane, lock, fleece, coat, hair, etc. would work. So:

    K`gora Cilice (a kind of hair cloth.)
    K`gora Palagia (pelage is coat of hair or something felt to resemble
    the coat of a mammal.)
    Sharani Forelock or Foretop
    Blackmane
    Darkfleece
    Dreadmane (I like this one because it puns on dreadlocks....)
    Longmane
    Longlock
    Whorlcoat (this one kind of hints at her powers.)

    However, all that aside, probably the best suggestion for a name change is to call the character Sable. That will stick with a kind of animal/monster theme and naming convention, goes with her black hair (as sables are sometimes that color) and is a little more subtle in its femininity. Though it still doesn`t really get the "long hair" thing going on, sables are known and valued for their fur. Plus, one wouldn`t expect a character named Sable to have claws or fangs (though sables do have both) where a character named The Lioness seems like she should be something of a brutal killer that bites and rends her foes. That`s not really the vibe on this NPC.

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 10-06-2008 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Vertical space expanded.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I have always seen awnshegh as being like the creatures described in a bestiary. The animal's physical attributes, habitat and habits were described and interpreted symbolically in order to teach a moral lesson to the reader. Bees and ants are industrious, foxes are cunning, and so forth. Nature was not something examined to figure out how nature worked (as a scientist might do) but as a metaphor for parts of man's nature, because the animals were created to serve man in many ways, and they are not important in their own right but only according to divine purpose, such as illustrating virtues and vices.

    Another approach is to consider the totemic meaning of animals as spirit guides. Consider for a moment the baboon, who defends his family and is a guardian or the community, so that even Thoth appeared in the form of a baboon to judge the dead. Although as Gary has suggested, modern meanings of words will influence players and baboon might sound like a kind of fool.

    In this regard the elephant is a decent choice: Long lived, doesn’t listen to insults, learns by watching, strong but peaceful, acute awareness, ability to recognize others, resolve to overcome obstacles.

    The things I see are learns by watching, specifically who tells the truth, strong but peaceful, which is good for a defender of community, like a mother, ability to recognize others true nature seems to be a signature, and resolve and overcome obstacles is what this character does.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Gary said:
    However, all that aside, probably the best suggestion for a name
    change is to call the character Sable. That will stick with a kind
    of animal/monster theme and naming convention, goes with her black
    hair (as sables are sometimes that color) and is a little more subtle
    in its femininity.
    Her hair is "golden brown", as in the song, and really really long and straight. Normally it reaches somewhere around her knees. Before she became an ehrshegh, she really looked after it. That is why Bloodtrait worked on it. It is always in her mind and is one of major identifying features (as well as being attractive).

    Her skin is black, dark black. None of this sort-of-black or brown. But it now has a golden tinge. I made a composite portrait that I put on the wiki page. Yes, it doesn't look natural for an African, but we are dealing 1) with a fantasy world 2) an ehrshegh.

    As to the name, I realise that the mane is a male lion's thing, but (other than monkeys and equines) who has manes? Only really a lion. So that was one of the reasons I saw the hair/lioness link. I gave her the Anduiras bloodline to help push it in that direction (hence the golden touch to the hair and skin). I have no idea what form she will end up in. She is a starting ehrshegh. She might get furry skin. She might get a tail. Her hair might become razor-sharp. Who knows.

    A horse link is another possibility due to her living at a horse stud, but 1) we already have the Lamia, who as has been pointed out, is already similar in other ways 2) I want her to retain the beauty aspect so her face should stay "human-like".

    The nickname approach is a possibility.

    If she was to change names, then I might need to change the names of Ilia's Pride (her law holding) and Ilia's Claw (her weapon) and aspects of her biography.

    Sorontar

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