A shifty, male wizard, pale and slight, surrounded by winds
Sylph, Age 43, male
Ritter appears at first glance to be fairly stocky but with some observation, one realizes that he is quite slight of build and that his apparent “bulk” is simply the way the wind seems to fill out his clothing. This same wind tends to fan his jacket, especially when he is angered.
(85 points, Slyph +2 int, +2 dex, -2 con)
HP 7 (assuming max at level 1)
Skills (2 + INT + favored class)
Knowledge Local, Nobility, Geography, History – 9 (1 rank)
Stealth – 8 (+4 whispering wind bonus, 0 rank)
Perception – 9 (class skill with Wind Listener, 1 rank, +2 alertness)
Spellcraft – 9 (1 rank)
Sense Motive – 15 (with Monocle, 1 rank, +1 & class skill with suspicious, +2 alertness)
Sleight of Hand – 9 (1 rank, +1 & class skill with child of the streets)
Wind listener wizard (Sylph specialist mage, Air School of magic, able to cast any divination spell in his spellbook unprepared as a full round action. Also adds perception as a class skill and, Air Supremacy, at first level, feather fall at will (at later levels levitation and fly).
Opposition schools: evocation and conjuration
Whispering wind trait (5 to base move)
Breeze kissed (+2 ac to non-magical ranged attacks, OPD bull rush or trip within 30’)
Alertness (+2 perception, +2 sense motive)
Traits suspicious, child of the streets
Scribe scroll (first level wizard)
(Note: no arcane focus, due to Wind Listener)
Inquisitor’s Monocle: CL 3rd; Weight —
The thick glass lens of this golden-framed monocle is attached to the wearer by a weighty chain. This monocle helps draw out the truth of things, and was originally created to aid in the investigation of crimes and the questioning of witnesses. Twice per day on command, it can create a zone of truth, as per the spell. In addition, this monocle grants its wearer a +5 competence bonus on Sense Motive checks. Though it fits over only one of the wearer’s eyes, the item takes up the entire eyes slot.
Ritter grew up in Lepidstadt in the County of Vieland.
Like most Sylph, Ritter found it easy as a child to remain out of sight, listening to whispered conversations on the wind. He also used his preternatural stealthiness to purloin more than a few objects, sometimes even slip something out of a belt pouch or vest pocket. He learned the hard way that there were repercussions to knowing too many sordid secrets, becoming somewhat feared and unpopular. As a result Ritter took to books for companionship.
Conrad, librarian of the Count Caromarc heard of the brilliant young Ritter and being somewhat socially awkward himself, did not mind the less savory rumors about Ritter. He took the young man into the castle and trained him as librarian, in this court, a scholar to be consulted by the count on matters of lore, history, geography, etc.
There were other budding librarians (scholars) at the court and it was a very competitive environment. One scholar, Turin, was as brilliant as Ritter and a rival for the best research assignments. Worse, Turin seemed adept at seeing through Ritter’s deceptions and indirections. In frustration, Ritter applied his not inconsiderable sneaking and eavesdropping abilities to see if he could learn something about Turin to use against him. It did not take long to discover that Turin was having an affair with one of the count’s daughter’s. Ritter told Conrad, who seemed rather amused by the whole affair, but agreed to tell the Count. Conrad also mentioned in passing that the Count’s daughter did not really have a chance against Turin: Turin’s monocle was magic and allowed him to see her every mood.
The Count banished Turin from court, which was Ritter’s immediate objective but Ritter also wanted the monocle. Turin foolishly attempted to correspond with his love. Conrad intercepted the letters and Ritter was able to find and read them. With the information from the letters, he found where Turin was hiding and stole the monocle from him one night.
The monocle is distinctive and therefore using it at court would have raised suspicions, not least with Conrad. Therefore, Ritter used it sparingly but it has proved a most useful tool over the years, especially when he has turned to less reputable merchants, such as near the end of his tenure at the castle when he was buying dark magic items to frame Alcander. Unfortunately for Ritter, the monocle improves his ability to sense motives but does not make him infallible, thus the disaster with the imp bottle.
Ritter dealt with other rivals in similar ways and by the time Ritter was in his 40s, there were only two other scholars who could challenge him. Though there was never any proof, Ritter was suspected to be spying for Conrad. Ritter is not a friendly person by nature, in any case, so these suspicions meant he had no friends at court and cool interactions with the other scholars.
When Conrad announced his retirement, and that he would select a successor in one year, it brought out the worst in not just Ritter but the two other scholars in contention to replace the old librarian.
The most graceful of the trio was the scholar Anya, a master of names and mnemonics, with excellent knowledge of the nobility and local lore, especially as it applied to the well-off. Anya, however, was found dead within a week of Conrad’s announcement. Though the official inquest determined she had dabbled with the black arts in order to win the court post, many suspected a trap by her rivals, although whether it was Ritter, or the equally cold and cunning, Alcander, none could really tell.
Ritter and Alcander were well matched and spent much of the rest of the year sparring behind the scenes, although the only sign of this was the unusual number of fatal accidents in the castle.
As the end of the fateful year neared, Ritter felt he was at best running even with Alcander and possibly behind. He needed a dramatic way to change the balance. He traveled to one of the more distant counties to seek out a purveyor in the dark arts and there found some vile treatises and a bottle said to contain an imp. Ritter returned to the castle with the intent to plant these on Alcander but his foe was ready. Before Ritter could frame him, Ritter was himself caught with the books and bottle.
Ritter claimed the texts were to combat forces unleashed by Anya, even cleverly claiming that they were still at work in the castle and responsible for the mysterious deaths. When challenged on the bottle, he opened it to show it contained only a harmless imp. Unfortunately, it actually contained a rather irate Efreeti. Eight people were killed, including Conrad and the Count Caromarc’s eldest son.
Ritter was imprisoned but before he could be brought to trial, he made use of all the secrets he had acquired in decades at the castle to blackmail the Count and his senior court members to release him. He was cast out with only a single spellbook and little money although he was able to steal several hundred gold from Alcander before he fled the Vieland to Canterwall to the south, a much smaller city.
Ritter is bitter about his fate. He realizes it was his own nefarious doings that got him into trouble but also that his taste for spying and scandals saved his neck, so he has no incentive to change his ways.
He is personna non grata in Vieland. The Countess and Alcander are mortal enemies but there are few at the county castle who would not like to see him come to a bad end.
Ritter has set out to prove himself on a larger stage by applying his talents to subterfuge and his great intellect and vast knowledge at the bounty hunter’s trade.