DAMIEL MELANTHA (Varisian)
Female human Rogue 1
CG Medium humanoid
Init 3 armor, 3 18-20/x2
Melee Sword, short 1 19-20/x2
Melee Gauntlet, spiked 3 20/x2
Ranged Dagger, thrown 3 19-20/x2
Special Attacks Combat Expertise, Sneak Attack
Str 16, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 15
Base Atk +0, Cmb +3
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light) (PFB 82), City Born (PFRotR 13-14), Combat Expertise (PFB 83), Two-weapon Fighting (PFB 96)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Appraise +7, Bluff +6, Disable Device +7, Disguise +6, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (local) +7, Linguistics +7, Perception +4, Perform (dance) +6, Sleight of Hand +7, Stealth +7
Languages Chelaxian, Common, Goblin, Shoanti, Thassilonian, Varisian
Combat Gear Rapier, Sword, short, Gauntlet, spiked, Dagger, Studded leather
Other Gear Rapier, Short Sword, Spiked Gauntlet, Backpack, Bedroll, Thieves’ tools, Caltrops, Chalk, 2 pieces, Belt Pouch, Trail rations, 2 days, Sewing needle, Waterskin, Whetstone, Explorer’s outfit, Dagger, Platinum, Gold – 40, Silver – 4, Copper, Armor & Shield, Weapons
I don’t really know for certain where I was born. It really doesn’t matter much to me.
My earliest memories are from when I grew up in Korvosa. My family lived on the streets for the most part. My father would do odd jobs, not really sure what my mother did, she never spoke of it, or if she did, it was of no consequence. I was left to my own mostly, and as children often do, I found myself in trouble. Of course, getting in trouble is only a problem if you get caught. Oddly enough, I wasn’t the one in the most trouble.
One night, my father came home in a panic. He told us we had to leave immediately, that people were coming for us. Hurriedly, we packed what we could and made our way out of town. It was almost dawn before we stopped for a break. Father never spoke of what happened, and I never asked about it. That didn’t stop us from moving on though.
We traveled for what must have been a couple years in total. Stopping in this town or that, for a few days or so, just long enough to make a few coins, gather supplies and move on. I learned to dance a bit to entertain crowds, when I wasn’t lifting the purse of some sod too drunk to notice.
When we arrived at Magnimar, my father told us that this was the end of our travels. We took up residence down near the docks, and life seemed to return to normal for us. Well, as normal as it gets for me at least.
Several years passed before the next stage of my life. I was about 16, being my usual purse lifting self, when I lifted the wrong coins, or perhaps, the right coins, depending on perspective. Although the mark was nearly unconscious from the mead, by the smell of him, his hand moved faster then I could see. The next thing I know, my arm is behind my back and I’m shoved to the floor. Not one to back down from a fight, I was quickly back on my feet, but not for long as a well placed boot sent me tumbling across the alley. As I scrambled to get to my feet, I heard the draw of steel and found myself looking down the wrong end of a rapier.
As I looked further down the blade, I could see the face of a man, still obviously feeling his mead, but yet holding his blade still as stone. “You have some serious…don’t you know who I am?” he slurred slightly. “I’m Armagio Deltari, master fencer. And you, my friend, are lucky I’m in a gracious mood!”
Reaching into what was to be my pouch, he pulled out a gold coin. He held it up to me, as if trying to look through it, then opened his hand letting the coin rest in his palm. “If you can take this coin…” Armagio stopped mid-sentence as I held up a coin mimicking his earlier pose. “There is no way you could have…” Armagio stopped again as he looked down to his palm just in time to see me take the original coin from him.
“That was quite the diversion.” he said taking a step back and re-sheathing his rapier. “You are not lacking for talent, so why are you wasting your time trying to steal the purses of drunks? You remind me of myself, well, myself with cleavage, at your age.”
He held out his hand to help me up, which I took. I dusted myself off and pocketed the two coins still in my hand. He looked me over, not like the typical sailor would, but more like he was sizing me up for a fight. After circling around me once, Armagio said, “How would you like to be my student?”
I looked back at him quizzically, trying to determine exactly what he meant by student. “And what exactly would I learn from you?” I replied, cocking my head to one side.
“I can teach you how to use the talents you possess to become a fencer. Except for perhaps being a bit reckless or misguided, you have the fire of a fighter and the grace of a dancer. And maybe in the process, teach you some self-discipline…and most certainly get you off these streets, at least as a common thief.” he smiled.
Being wary, I replied, “And what do you want in return for this? I have no money to pay a fencing master”.
“I will take it out in trade.” he said as he leaned down to pick up the hat he left lying where found him. “You will help me clean up my training area. Once it is ready for use, you will continue to run any errands that might need doing. In return, I will attempt to pass on my vast fencing knowledge to you.”
“And if I decline?”, I said, cocking an eyebrow.
With a deep, flourishing bow, “Then our time here is at an end. So the decision is how yours. Stay on your current path, or find out where this new path leads.”
I paused for a moment thinking about it. “I accept your offer, as long as you realize that should I later find the arrangements to not be to my liking, I will leave.”
“As I would expect.”, he said with a warm smile. “Come with me then.”, as he started walking.
This encounter would be a turning point in my life.
As it turns out, Armagio was a man of his word, not like the scoundrels I had grown accustomed to. We spent a full week cleaning his training room, which had apparently been completely trashed by a rival fencing masters’ students, in retaliation for words spoken against their master.
Armagio and I spent the next week and a half cleaning up his studio. We spent the time removing all the broken furniture and painting over the markings that had been made on the walls. When I asked him who had done this, his smile faded and he took on sad features which made his age more apparent. He didn’t respond, so I pretty much stayed away from that topic.
When the cleanup was complete and with the smell of fresh paint in filling the air, Armagio, with his broad smile approached me. “Welcome to your first day of training my student.” From behind his back, he produced a rapier. “This,” he said, giving the rapier a quick slash through the air, “will be your constant companion. From now on, you do not go anywhere without it. This is your weapon, you will maintain it and care for it. Is that understood?”
I jumped quickly to my feet and bowed, “Yes sir.”
“Very good. The scabbard and belt are hung up in the cloak room. Go get them, put them on and meet me in the fencing circle.” I smile as he handed me the blade. It was a very simple weapon, an unadorned cup hilt with a plain crosspiece and a plain oval pommel. But it was mine. The first thing I can really remember owning that wasn’t taken from someone else.
I rushed to the cloak room and gathered up the gear and headed for the practice circle. I found him there, sitting on the floor cross-legged within the circle, his rapier sitting across his lap. He motioned for me to sit across from him, which I did very excitedly.
Once seated, he handed me a cloth and within the cloth was a whetstone. “Before I even show you your first steps in the fighting circle, I need to show you how to take care of your instrument if you are to have it sing sweet music.”
Although I was hoping to jump right into learning to fight, Armagio made learning even these basic things more entertaining. He showed me the proper way to clean and sharpen my weapon, as well as teaching me the words for the various parts of the rapier in another language. I can’t remember for certain which language it was, probably Chelaxian, but this was to become standard practice for us. Every time he taught me something, he taught it in at least two languages.
Training, although difficult at times, was made enjoyable by Armagio. He was not a harsh teacher, but he didn’t shy away from giving me a welt as a reminder of a mistake should my guard drop or I time a lunge poorly. As he would defend himself from my feeble attacks, he would tell me stories about his life traveling the world at my age, always including a bit of teaching on the languages.
When we weren’t training, I was allowed to do as I wished unless Armagio needed me to run some errand, like fetching supplies. He gave me access to his library, a quite extensive collection as far as I can tell, having never been in a library. There I furthered my knowledge of the languages he taught me during our sessions, often with his help.
It was some time before I realized that Armagio hadn’t left the studio, since he started training me, at least to my knowledge. I asked him about this, but got about the same reaction as when I asked about who had vandalized his studio.
My training continued for probably a year, maybe more. We would train for 4-5 hours a day. I learned to use more than just the rapier. Everything from a cloak to a reinforced leather glove could be used while fencing, and I wanted to learn it all, and Armagio seemed eager to teach me.
But it was at this time, that another event would change my life.
As I left the studio to go to the market to get food for us, I took notice of a couple men watching me. I’m not unused to men looking at me, but they didn’t have what I would consider a good look about them.
Figuring that if they were following me, I could lose them in an alleyway, I darted into one and hid. I misjudged them apparently, as when I stepped out one of them was standing at each end of the alley looking in my direction.
For a moment, I panicked. I had let myself get cornered. But there was only 1 in either direction, I can deal with that, I told myself, and started walking quickly towards a tall, dark haired ruffian, that got a toothy grin on his face as I approached. I could hear his shorter, stocky friend coming down the alley in a hurried walk, so I knew I didn’t have much time.
“So missy, are you Armi’s new student?” he said with a slight chuckle as I approached him. As I drew closer, he moved his hands from behind his back revealing a short, but very stout looking club in his right hand, and a spiked glove on his left. “We jus wanna have a little talk with ya. Armi was told to not take any more students, so I’m sure you ain’t one.”
My hands flexed, preparing for a fight, and I slowed up a bit. “What are you talking about? Who told Armagio to not take students? Certainly not the likes of you.”
With that, his chuckle turned to a snarl, you could almost see the drool coming out of his mouth. I do have a way with people, didn’t say it was a good way. He charged at me, club raised. I think I know how Armagio felt during my early training. I hope I wasn’t this clumsy.
The club came down on empty air, I had already stepped past the blow, but in the moment had forgotten about the ruffian behind me who caught me with a glancing shot across my left shoulder from behind, sending me tumbling across the dirty alley before coming up on my feet. Now I had both of them in front of me, my back to a wall, and no easy way out.
My rapier let out a keening note as it came free of the scabbard as I they glared at me. A deep voice came from the smaller of the two, “Think we should take this one back to the boss, after we settle her down a bit, if ya know what I’m gettin’ at.”
All my muscles were tensed, I was too frantic to retort. The shorter one took a step towards me, his short sword easily evaded as I caught him across the cheek with the pommel of my sword, giving him what I’m sure will be a nice black eye. His friend isn’t so lucky.
I spin around in time to see his spiked glove barreling towards me. I barely retreat from the blow in time, but the dodge gives me a full thrust which strikes home, sending a spray of blood from punctured throat.
Both of his weapons drop to the ground as he clutches at his throat, as he descends to his knees. The short one’s mouth drops open in terror at seeing his friend. He looks back to me then bolts down the alleyway.
I withdraw my rapier with a smooth motion, and wipe the blood off on his sleeve, his wide eyes staring up at me and his mouth moving as if gasping for air. I can still feel the energy flowing through me. I kick the nameless man across the face and he drops completely to the ground. It isn’t but a few seconds later that I have his money pouch in my hand and I’m looking down at a corpse. I reach down and take the spiked glove from his left hand. It is probably a little large, but a suitable trophy, so I tuck it in my belt.
I make my exit from the alley as casually as I can and head immediately back to Armagio. I’m certain, that given the rush I felt, casual is far from how I actually looked, but no one else accosted me during my short trip.
I yelled for Armagio as soon as I entered the studio, which must have come as quite a surprise to him as well, as he emerged from the library, rapier in hand. He ran down the flight of stairs, having noticed the blood spattering on my blouse, which I had not noticed until now.
“What happened?” he asked somewhat panicked, looking me over to see if I was injured.
Barely able to look up as I ran through the events in my mind, “There were a couple men that followed me towards the market. I tried to lose them in an alley but I got cornered. They said they told you not to take students any more and wanted to talk to me. By the look of it, they had more than talking in mind. One thing led to another and I killed one of them. The other ran off.” I looked up to see Armagio’s face, very sadden.
“I should have told you this earlier Damiel, but I didn’t want to involve you if I could avoid it.” He took a step away and sheathed his blade.
“The day you found me in the alleyway, I had been out drinking all night, trying to drown my sorrows.” Armagio began walking in small circles, with his hands clasped behind his back, looking at the floor. “One of the local gang leaders fancies himself a fencer. He approached me to teach him, and told me he would pay me greatly. In truth, he was a thug with a blade; he did not have the fire inside needed to be a fencer.”
“When I told him such, he did not take it well, as you can imagine. He told me that should I ever take another student, that he would kill us both for such an affront. He then had his gang wreck my studio. I may be a great fencer, but even I cannot take an entire gang at once. It wounded me greatly to think I could not pass on my knowledge to another. When I found you, or more correctly, when you found me, I saw the fire inside you. It was as obvious as could be made to me.”
Finally looking back up to me, “I hoped that by my secluding myself in here, I could fool them into believing I wasn’t training anyone, but I seem to have succeeded in fooling myself.”
“Now that I have told you the whole story, you must prepare to go. You killed one of them, they are certain to return and want retribution. Gather your things, you need to leave immediately.” he said, waving his hand in the direction of my room.
“No! I can’t leave here without you. They will kill you for what I did.” I said, with a tear starting to run down my cheek.
“Get your things, I am still your master!” he yelled, which I had never heard him do prior.
I ran to my room and started throwing what few things I had in my pack and made my way back downstairs.
Armagio was standing there waiting for me. “Give me that thing which barely passes as a training blade.” he said with a matter of fact tone. “Scabbard and all. You do not deserve it any longer.”
The tears started to come harder to me as I unstrapped the scabbard and handed it to him, not able to look him in the face.
He took the weapon from me and with the other hand lifted my chin to look at him. I could hear my sword clatter to the ground as he tossed it some distance away.
“I wanted to give you this under more appropriate circumstances, but this will have to do.” He reached to his waist and drew a rapier and scabbard from his belt. “You have been my finest student, and deserve the finest blade” handing the weapon to me.
It was an absolute work of art. The swept hilt finely worked and inlaid with bronze. The scabbard was also finely decorated in silver and bronze.
I threw my arms around Armagio holding him tight while the tears streamed down my face. He allowed me to stay like that for a few moments before reminding me that I should be going.
Reluctantly, I pulled away from him and wiped my face. I quickly strapped the scabbard on and hefted my pack on.
“Head northeast. There is a little town called Sandpoint, you should be safe there for the time being.” He handed me a coin pouch which I tied to my belt. “When things are quiet, I’ll travel up that way and get you.”
I looked at him and nodded solemnly.
We stepped outside the studio only to find that my goodbyes had taken a little too long. Ten armed men were waiting there, including the short one with a now obvious black eye.
“Armagio, good to see you, how is the new student coming along?” jeered a relatively good looking man with a rapier strapped to his belt.
“The new student is done being my student, Ridolfo. She has completed her teachings here. Something I’m certain you could not have accomplished” Armagio said with a smile.
“Are you certain old man? Why don’t you come show me what you can teach me now? Just you and me, here.” Ridolfo drew his rapier clear of its sheath.
Armagio looked to me and quietly said “It is time for you to go my dear, this one is not your fight”.
“It is time we settled this Ridolfo.” Armagio slowly walked down the step with me, then gave me a nudge to get moving. I hear the familiar sound of his sword being drawn.
I had gotten about a block away and couldn’t go any further, I couldn’t just leave him here on his own. I turned around to see the group of men encircling Armagio. It was also then that I spotted the archers on the rooftop above them.
I started running back to Armagio and began yelling to him about the archers, but my screams came too late. I saw two arrows pierce him from behind and another from the front. I froze in place at seeing this. The cowards were too afraid to face him in martial combat.
Armagio dropped to one knee, still holding on, rapier still raised. Another arrow in the back and his rapier dropped to the ground, hand still grasping as if trying to hold it.
Ridolfo stepped forward to Armagio, seemed to say something, then slashed his rapier across Armagios’ throat. His body twisting as it fell to the ground.
I screamed and ran away. I try tell myself I did it because I knew I couldn’t win that fight, but in truth, it was because I was afraid. Not afraid of dying, but because I was afraid I was alone now, having seen my only friend die before me.
Now, with a heavy weight of sorrow upon me, I go where my friend last requested I go. Maybe there is some hope of redemption there.