SendoureThe Lioness

framed|Arms of the Lioness

Female Khinasi Bard 4/Fighter 2/Ehrshegh? 2
Regent of Ilia's Pride
Lineage of lesser nobility
Major bloodline of Anduiras, ????
CG Medium Humanoid

VP/WP ??/??
Init ??; Senses: Listen ?? Spot ??
Languages Basarji, Low Brecht
AC ??, ?? flatfooted, ?? touch
Fort ?? Ref ??, Will ??

Speed ?? ft
Melee ??
Mounted ??
Ranged ?? by weapon
Base Atk ??/??; Grp ??/??

Abilities Str 12, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 18
Feats: Choose amongst Armor Proficiency (Light), Simple Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise?, Special Weapon: Trip, Knockdown, Infinite Deflection, Whirlwind Attack
Skills: Choose amongst Bluff, Gather Information, Perform, Ride, Sense Motive, Jump, Climb
Special Qualities: Choose amongst Bloodtrait, Character Reading, Charm Aura or Divine Aura (Major),
Maybe also - Animal Affinity: Cats (minor), Heightened Ability (minor), Major resistance: Charm or Resistance (Minor)
Sharani's Mane: Sharani's long hair is like a fifth limb. At will, it will gather together and act as a +2 magical natural weapon. She uses it to attack, trip, push and disarm any opponent within range. It attacks as for a +2 large whip but it gives no Attack of Opportunity to opponents. The Trip and Knockdown feats have a +2 bonus. If the hair is used as a second weapon, there is no penalty. It can pick up and toss any item as if she was doing it with her hands. The hair can also help her perform a special version of the Whirlwind Attack and Infinite Deflection. Even though it normally is only four to five feet long, it can reach up to fifteen feet (like a whip) when used as a weapon.

The hair can be the target of an opponent's attack (including fire or acid). Its "destruction" will be render it inactive, no longer being able to be used for any action. However, it quickly grows back in 5 rounds time. If it is destroyed again during that time, it will not grow back until after a night's rest (or equivalent).

Whirlwind Attack (special): For this attack, Sharani's hair whirls around wildly, each strand acting separately from each other. This attacks anyone within range as a magical natural weapon. However, because the hair is not gathered, it can only do 1hp of non-lethal damage if successful. It also adds +4 to her AC. There is no limit to how many times she uses this feat during combat. No other weapon attack can be performed by Sharani during this feat but she can cast spells and command troops.

Infinite Deflection (special): Like the Whirlwind Attack, the hair whirls around but rather than attacking, it is targeting any approaching missile weapons with the aim to deflect them. It works like the standard Infinite Deflection but also gives Sharani +2 to her AC. There is no limit to how many times she uses this feat during combat. No other weapon attack can be performed by Sharani during this feat but she can cast spells and command troops.

Description: Sharani is a 5'8'' woman. Her slender body has grown stronger since she has begun training with the sword, but she is still nimble and quick to respond. Her long golden-brown hair flows down her back to her knees. She has always taken great care of her gentle golden waves. She rarely wears makeup but for when she is undercover on a mission. The makeup is required to darken her naturally brown skin which is slowly turning golden like her locks. She also will gently wrap up her hair and disguise it. However, she has no problem wearing jewelry at any time.
Possessions: Ilia's Claw, +1 light armour, masterwork pipa, Laerme's Love

Ilia's Claw: +1 short sword.
Laerme's Love: Gem of Beguiling. This pendant was given to Sharani by a noblewomen in thanks for the aid she has provided. It is believed to have been created by elves. This acts like a rod of beguiling (10 charges).
Typical Dialogue:
"They do not understand that the heart of the Goddess beats within us. We see beauty in the simplest of things."
"So he dismissed her because she is with his child! I shall see whether he truely cares."
"The Emir refused again? How can he expect us to help him if he will not adequately protect the people of his realm?"
"We ride! The Hand must follow the Heart."

framed|The Lioness

When Sharani K'gora was young, her beauty brought her many suitors. However, she could see the truth in their eyes. Her father, Hirani K'gora, was a commander in the cavalry but also ran a successful stud farm, Ardoja, with many important clients. Sharani's future husband would win themselves a beautiful wife and a comfortable future.

But this was not the sort of man she wanted to share her roof. Many crestfallen men would leave, never to return. Eventually there was one suitor who won her over. Ilia was a young sergeant who frequently bore messages to her father but over time his relationship with Sharani changed until they became partners when she was eighteen.

But one of her old suitors, Prakhin, was one of her father's peers in the military and occassionally visited on military matters. Since she was fifteen, Sharani had had to brush off his advances. Even her growing friendship with Ilia did not stop him. It finally came to a head one day. Prakhin wanted her father to support him in a plot against their superior. Hirani denounced the conspiracy and asked Prakhin to leave. Prakhin killed Hirani and then tried to convince Sharani that some conspirators had murdered her father and that she would be safer if she fled with him. However, Ilia challenged him,
vowing to protect her by heart and hand. He fought valiantly but he did not have the experience of Prakhin and as he died, he placed his hand on her heart.

Prakhin grabbed Sharani and tried to force her beneath him but she resisted, twisting and turning. He slapped her on the face, scratching her jaw with one of his rings. She grasped Ilia's sword and struck back, chopping off the hand that held her. Prakhin tried to flee but was eventually found and courtmartialled.

Sharani took over much of the running of her father's estate. She named Ilia's blade, Ilia's Claw, and received further training in the martial arts. For now that Hirani was gone, the bandits were bolder. Using her father and Ilia's allies, she gathered a small band of warriors to guard her land and stock.

The thought of Ilia stayed in her mind for she knew that he had her in his heart as he died. It strongly influenced many of her decisions. Many others who had similar issues with false lovers and unfullfilled love were drawn to her and a small community grew around the farm. The role of her guards extended to protecting them as well as the stud. A small group of worshippers of Leira also developed around the Shrine of the Hand and Heart that Sharani had built. She did not lead this congregation but she certainly was its major patron. She became to be known as "the Lioness" who guarded and loved her cubs. Her guards started to conduct regular patrols through the lands. She named them Ilia's Pride.

However, Prakhin had escaped from custody and become the leader of a group of outlaws. Soon the poison of Azrai's bloodline joined with him. He had been wearing a metal hand to replace that which had been cut off. Once blooded, the skin on his arm and chest started to change into a more metallic form, like that of the Ghuralli. He grew bolder and started to become a threat to many throughout the province.

Yet his main hatred was for the Lioness and all that she stood for, so one day he raided Ardojo and ended up face-to-face with Shirani once more. They fought but Shirani soon found that regardless of her new fighting skills and agility, she could not get through his new metal skin. She called out to Leira, praying for guidance. Suddenly feeling refreshed, strengthened and reassured she thrust forward with Ilia's Claw and pierced Prakhin's chest, killing him as Leira guided the Claw into Prakhin's heart.

Unintentionally, this was bloodtheft. Sharani already had the Anduiras bloodline within her like her father and mother but now it recieved a great boost from Prakhin's stronger bloodline. Because of the support of Laerme at the moment of the bloodtheft, the Anduiras bloodline won out.

However, she did "inherit" the transformation blood ability, Bloodtrait, from Prakhin. During the next month, she noticed that her hair was even more radiant and when she angered, it seemed to fly wildly about. Over time, she learnt to control it and it grew stronger, eventually being able to use it like a third arm.

The Lioness is now primarly interested in running her holdings and less in running the estate as a business. Since an early age, she has trained as a musician and she still practises bardic arts. Her main instrument is the pipa, regularly playing her own compositions for others. She also has a beautiful singing voice but only sings for
women. For it is said that any male that hears her sing is either already in combat with her, or about to die. No more suitors bother her for all know that she still has Ilia in her heart.

[top]The Shrine of the Hand and Heart

framed|The sign of the Shrine of the Hand and Heart

This shrine has grown to a young temple (level 0 temple holding). Initially it was just a community shrine to Leira, set up by the Lioness in recognition of the goddess. The Binsadan Temple of Leira was concentrating its efforts in the more heavily populated areas, so the shrine started to become a local hub for worship. The Lioness was interested in those who visited and their stories, but she neither had the training nor the time to manage the shrine. As a result, she took on former priests from the Binsadan temples as the clerics for the Hand and Heart.

However, the message of Leira that she believed in was not that promoted by Haswan Mandil. Consequently, the priests she employed were not major players in Haswan's temple and tended to have more liberal views of their faith than their former high priest. She did not want rebels. She just wanted staff who could understand the hearts of the community. Some feel that the shrine is as a breakaway church of Leira but it is yet to generate any response from Haswan.

While the shrine and its staff is seen as belonging to the Lioness, she is not its regent or high priest. That job is given to Kalo Bhavani (MKh, Clr 3, minor scion of Vorynn, 13, NG).

[top]Ilia's Pride

framed|Arms of Ilia's Pride

This infantry unit is made up of local warriors, retired soldiers and worshippers of Leira who have had some martial training. The Lioness is its commander and but she works regularly with her halfling lieutenant, Lana Hathelwaite (FH, Ftr 4, tainted scion of Anduiras, 4, LG).

The Pride is not formally attached to the Shrine of the Hand and Heart but is used by the Lioness to help protect its worshippers and their communities. As such, it is the only permanent law enforcement body in the area (level 0 law holding). It reports regularly to its commander and helps express her will and opinion.

Within the Pride, the Lioness has a small set of female cavalry fighters who act as her elite bodyguard. She calls them her Playful Paws and all are followers of Leira. With them she is willing to act as a mercenary to help those who need the aid of the goddess. However, she will not take on any contract without first confirming its truth. She tends to conduct these investigations personally, making sure that it is the heart that guides her client, not greed or envy.

[top]Where is Ardoja?

There are various possible provinces in which Ardoja could be located. Some key candidates are Fedasa and Shirshet in Sendoure.

Fedasa, Sendoure: This province has a major farming industry so it is an obvious location for the stud. However, it is mainly agriculture, making Ardoja a prime candidate for bandits and raids from the Sphinx's land. The Emir of Sendoure has little concern for the province and his only soldiers are in the south near the Sphinx's border. Generally it is a safe province though with the Khinasi, Brecht and halfling communities having no real enemies. Haswan Mandil of Binsada has a level one temple holding dedicated to Leira.

Shirshet, Sendoure: Shirshet is much closer to the Emir of Sendoure's home so there are far more soldiers. Their main concern is the city of Shirset so rural communities can do with guards like Ilia's Pride to protect them from bandits and raids across the border from the Hydra's agents in Sula´a and Tinsouf. Haswan Mandil has a level two temple holding dedicated to Leira and is pushing hard for religious change in the realm, but there is certainly space for a rival church of Leira to start up.

Whereever Ardoja is placed, it needs to have good grasslands and an opening for the level zero holdings to be created. The Lioness needs to have a community that need her and give her the regency she deserves.

[top]Plots and Rumours

  • Rebellion: The Emir learns of a rival regent controlling the law in Shirshet. He may send a military force against the Lioness or simply lean on the Ghouda´a Coster to act.
  • Heretic: Haswan Mandil learns of the Hand and Heart and sees it as a corruption of the wishes of Leira. He plans to personally visit the province and deal with these heathens.
  • Lover: For the past month, a Khinasi lord from Tinsouf has been seen regularly visiting the Lioness. Some think she has at long last taken on a new lover. Others wonder whether he is an agent for either the Hydra, the church of Kirche or the Ghouda´a Coster.
  • Allegience: The Lioness has been asked to provide troops to the Emir for a raid into the Hydra's territory in Tinsouf. However, the area to be attacked contains the land of a regular visitor to the Shrine of the Hand and Heart.

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