Thursday, September 05, 2013

Iconic Dark•Heritage Characters: Tereza Alecsandrescu

Tereza grew up a ward of the Church in Sarabasca (a community not exactly known for its piousness, so the Church was often poor, underfunded, and not highly respected.)  Found on the church doorstep as a baby, the nuns there hoped that one day she would join them, but Tereza's affinities were not towards religious vows.  Rather, secular scholarship is where she excels, and what she most desires to pursue as a vocation, but this has unfortunately opened her up to knowledge that she should not know, and the restricted section of the convent's library is too often the site of her sorties into knowledge that she would be better off leaving alone.  In this sense, her curiousity is her fatal flaw, not unlike Keisa Alawasmu (another iconic character, detailed previously--check out the ICONICS tag for more info.)

However, unlike Keisa, Tereza is not an occultist, and learning to handle the powers that Mankind was Not Meant To Know is not really her goal; rather, ancient history is her passion.  There are few people in the Mezzovian Sea area who can rattle off details about ancient kingdoms and peoples than Tereza.  She also tempers her book-learning on the subject with as many in the field excursions as she can, making her something of an "adventuring archeologist" if you like (an archetype you may be familiar with from my favorite movie of all time--although Tereza is not nearly as rough and tumble and tough as Indiana Jones; she's a little more like Evelyn "Evy" Carnahan from The Mummy.)

Unbeknownst to her, however, she is the object of considerable interest to many sinister interests across the area.  She obviously looks different than the natives of Sarabasca, but she doesn't really understand the cause for that.  In reality, she is a native of Cannibal Island, and has the distinctive chalky, pale look of inhabitants from there.  Since she was raised from infancy in Sarabasca, she does not sport the tattoos, or other cultural artifacts of her heritage.  And curiously, she seems to be immune to the curse that forces her kin into cannibalism.  The cause of this is mysterious (especially to her; she doesn't even know much about Cannibal Island except for rumors anyway, and certainly doesn't suspect that her heritage is somehow associated with that benighted place.)  However, a few other cannibal cultists and other occultists of various types have started to hear rumors of her existance, which is not a situation that is likely to bode well for her.

In the various systems that I "endorse" for the game, I'd call Tereza the following:
  • In D&D (3.5) I'd call her a 5th level rogue, probably.  Her sneak attack is probably not really in line with how I envision the character although maybe it's OK to leave as is, nor is her trapfinding ability.  I'd borrow a page from Pathfinder, and swap those out, a la the archetypes which offer alternative class abilities.  The Investigator archetype is a good one for her.  None of the archetypes offer replacements for Sneak Attack (which I suppose they feel is too "core" to the concept of the Rogue) so you'll either have to house-rule your own, or just keep Sneak Attack in.  This is also true for Pathfinder, if using that system.  Her dabbling in the occult can come through the feats that give access to minor magic; maybe even going as far as a familiar!
  • In d20 Modern, I'd call her a 5th level Smart hero with the Academic Occupation.  Speaking of which, the Research talent tree would make a good substitute for Sneak Attack if applied above.  On the fly house-ruling, here we go!  Her magical dabbling is best described by using the feats, as above (which apply to both iterations of the rules.)
  • In DARK•HERITAGE HACK I see Tereza as a Thief.  Her magical dabbling comes by taking a few cross-class skills from the Sorcerer class.
  • In m20, Tereza is, again, a Rogue.  With a few ritual spells up her sleeve.

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