Friday, October 21, 2011

Colorful Characters 2: Spyri the Trinketeer

(NOTE: The Witch class is from the Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide. If you don't have that available, the stat block below will not be of much use.)

Spyri comes from a gnomish merchant family of modest means. Truth be told, her youth was positively normal. She learned her parents' trade well, and helped acquire and sell goods. She had a knack for the work, and in particular for finding more unusual items. She often came to her parents with some arcane bauble or other, which rarely seemed like something they would be able to find a buyer for. Luckily, Spyri had as much of a gift for selling oddities as she had for finding them.

One evening, when Spyri was perhaps 37, she was contacted by someone who had been a reliable source of goods to her in the past. He wanted to meet after dark in the stables of a nearby inn. Not unaccustomed to unusual behavior in her associates, Spyri agreed. The two met, and after some negotiation, Spyri made a good deal for a tiny sundial which functioned even without light. Just as the gold changed hands, however, torches of the town guard appeared around a nearby bend in the streets. Apparently Spyri's associate had some reason to fear the law, because he quickly leaped onto one of the horses in the stable and sped away from the place as quickly as he could--trampling Spyri in the process.

The gnome woman faded in and out of consciousness throughout the night. Even now, a lifetime later, Spyri seems to become tongue tied when attempting to describe the experience. She claims to remember nothing at all, and yet to remember a detailed conversation with an unknown entity she refers to only as "Whispers from Lightless Corners." This conversation which she seemingly does not recall changed her life. She awoke in the wee hours of the morning with a pony nudging her with his snout. And, without entirely knowing why, she led the pony away from the stable and went out into the wilderness for a year.

When she returned, her parents were jubilant. They had thought their daughter dead. Their joy was short lived. Spyri told her parents that she was leaving, did not know where she was going, but that she might return someday. She then left, again leading the pony (which she named "Shade Tender"), and taking nothing else with her.

Spyri was changed by her encounter with the unknown force she named Whispers from Lightless Corners. Not only did she act more erratically, and seem somehow detached from the world around her, but through her connection with that force she began to learn witchcraft. By communing with Shade Tender--witness to that first fateful meeting with Whispers from Lightless Corners--Spyri could reconnect with that power. Could draw knowledge from it, and learn powerful spells.

In her travels, Spyri met a group of adventurers traipsing through the woods. They asked her:

"Who are you, and where are you headed?" Spyri looked at them a long moment before responding by repeating their question. Somewhat confused, but willing cooperate, the adventurers introduced themselves, and added that they were trying to find the Crypt of Anakhot, which was rumored to be nearby.

"Now," said a well dressed halfling bearing an instrument, "What about you?"

Without pause, Spyri responded "I am Spyri, and I seek the Crypt of Anakhot, which is rumored to be nearby."

Confused though they were by her oddity, the party allowed Spyri to tag along on their adventure, and many others which followed it. The gnome was capable in a tight spot, and as she socialized more with the group, she seemed to become more lucid. Though she still had some difficulty dealing with strangers or acting whilst alone, Spyri found she was able to be much like her old self whilst around her new friends.

One day, while raiding the treasure horde of a goblin who had fancied himself a king, the party found an unusual deck of cards. One of the party members excitedly identified it as a Deck of Many Things. An item of rare power which they were fortunate to have found. Without a thought to the danger, each party member in turn drew a card. Defying the odds, each received some boon from the act.

When it came time for Spyri to draw, she did not think twice. She pulled her card from the top of the deck. It was The Demon's Laugh, a card unique to this deck. As soon as it was drawn, all those whom Spyri most loved--the entire party--blinked out of existence, leaving her alone. The etchings on the card promised that her friends would return again once the card was drawn a second time. Unfortunately, a Deck of Many Things never lets the same person draw twice.

Grief stricken, Spyri now travels the world with Shade Tender. She's taken up her family trade as a merchant, buying and selling oddities along the roads. She asks every customer if they would like to draw a card from her deck, hoping to someday be reunited with her friends. Even after 100 years of traveling, Spyri is still hopeful that she will see them again.


Spyri is an oddball. While not mad, she is certainly eccentric in the extreme. She will often Hex those who are kind to her with Fortune and those who are unkind to her with misfortune. If ever asked about her past, she will make up a lie, which will probably not match up with earlier lies she has told.

She can be pushy as a merchant, attempting to convince characters that they cannot go on without whatever bauble she's decided she wants to sell them. And, after every transaction, she always offers to allow a customer to draw from her Deck of Many Things.


Spyri does not like to fight. If forced, she will attempt to use spells like Cause Fear or Fog Cloud to escape as soon as possible.

Interesting Facts

*Spyri has a facial tick. Her left eye and check twitch and quiver while she talks.

*Spyri talks in her sleep, often directly to Whispers from Lightless Corners

*Spyri's hair has gone prematurely stark white.

*Spyri will often show unusual kindness to adventurers, as they remind her of happier times. If, however, adventurers ever treat her poorly, she becomes vindictive.

Thoughts on Use

Spyri is a great character for players to meet out in the wilderness, or while traveling along the road to a destination. She will try to sell them a number of very odd things, and the party might even buy one or two of them. If they do, she will offer to allow them to draw from her Deck of Many Things. If they do, roll a d% before each card drawn. If 100 is rolled, then the card drawn is The Demon's Laugh, and Spyri's friends suddenly appear, having aged not at all since their disappearance. Otherwise, treat as a normal Deck of Many Things. Spyri, like the deck itself, is intended to add spice & an unusual twist to a gaming session, rather than define it.


Spyri travels on her merchant cart, drawn by Shade Tender. Among many other oddities, it contains the following items which she will attempt to sell to the PCs.

-50ft of rope which unknots when the slightest pressure is put on it; 1gp
-A brown bag. 2lb of sand can be poured out of it every day; 2gp
-Gloves which make whatever they touch slightly colder; 5gp
-A working divining rod; 10gp
-A ball of yarn which will attract the nearest cat, up to 5 miles away; 1gp
-A stick enchanted to cut & stab like a normal shortsword. AC: 5, Hardness: 1, HP: 4; 2gp
-Ring which causes anyone who wears it to speak only the truth; 1,000gp
-Leggings which allow someone to be comfortable no matter where they sit; 10gp
-A torch which never goes out--no matter what you do; 10gp

Spyri, the Trinketeer (CR 3)

XP: 800
Gnome Witch 4
CN Small humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +6

AC 14, Flat Footed 13, Touch 14 [10 + Armor(0) + Dex (1) + Ring(2) + Size(1)]
hp 32 (4d6 + 8)
Fort +3 Ref +2 Will +8

Speed 20ft
Melee Masterwork Dagger +2 (1d3/19-20 x2)
Ranged Masterwork Dagger +4 (1d3/x2)
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 4th; Concentration +7)
2nd--Detect Thoughts, Fog Cloud
1st--Identify(2), Cause Fear
0(at will)--Touch of Fatigue, Dancing Lights, Daze, Light
Patron Shadow

Str 9 (-1) Dex 12 (+1) Con 14 (+2) Int 17 (+3) Wis 15 (+2) Cha 11 (+0)
Base Atk +2; CMB +0; CMD 11
Feats Iron Will, Brew Potions
Skills Heal (+9), Perception (+6), Profession(Traveling Merchant)(+9), Spellcraft (+10), Use Magic Device (+7)
Languages Common, Gnome, Draconic, Celestial, Abyssal
SQ Hexes (Save DC: 15) Fortune, Misfortune
Gear Simple grey robes made for traveling, Masterwork Dagger, 3 potions of Cure Moderate Wounds, a Ring of Protection +2, Two silver rings worth 5gp each, 6gp, a Deck of Many Things.

Familiar; "Shade Tender"
See "Horse, Pony" on page 177 of the Pathfinder Beastiary for stats.
Familiar Bonuses +2 Natural Armor, Intelligence raised to 7, Alertness, Improved Evasion, Share Spells, Empathic Link, Deliver Touch Spells & Hexes
Stored Spells
Level 0 - All Cantrips are stored.
Level 1 - Identify, Cause Fear, Command, Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Hypnotism, Mage Armor
Level 2 - Detect Thoughts, Fog Cloud, Spectral Hand, Silent Image

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