Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cassilda Tillinghast

Cassilda Tillinghast is a character that I created for playing The House on Hook Street, a module that is being run in campaign mode at my local Pathfinder Society venue over the next couple of months. We were strongly encouraged to make characters with psychic magic (from Occult Adventures) due to the usefulness of occult skill unlocks in investigating the adventure's mystery. I chose the mindblade magus (an archetype that makes that class's spellcasting psychic) because it fit a character concept that I already had in embryonic form.

The GM asked us for some character background, including a few specific questions, so that they could work personalized hooks into the story. My answers follow the stat block below.

As her surname may suggest, Cassilda was in part inspired by my old Buffy RPG character Patricia "Trick" Tillinghast, who I've posted about here before. Some of the details below were based on specific parts of Trick's history; others are new, in order to integrate Cassilda into this very different setting. I think of her as a sort of "alternate universe" Trick.


Cassilda Tillinghast
(original art by Tim Emrick)

Cassilda Tillinghast

Female human magus (mindblade) 5 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic, Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures)
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +9

21, touch 15, flat-footed 17 (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +4 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 38 (5d8+10)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5

Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 keen rapier [mindblade] +9 (1d6+2/15-20) or
    alchemical silver kukri +7 (1d4/18-20) or
    cold iron kukri +7 (1d4+1/18-20) 
Ranged masterwork composite longbow +8 (1d8+1/x3)
Special Attacks pool strike (2d6), spell combat, spellstrike
Magus Spells Known (CL 5th; concentration +14; melee or ranged touch +7)
2nd (3/day)--cat's grace, invisibility, see invisible, spider climb
1st (5/day)--expeditious retreat, feather step[APG], shield, shocking grasp, true strike
0--acid splash, detect magic, disrupt undead, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic

Str 13, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 19
Feats Bodyguard[B], Combat Casting[B], Combat Reflexes, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Skills Climb +5, Craft (leather) +7, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (local, religion) +4, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +9, Ride +8, Spellcraft +11, Swim +5; Occult Skill Unlocks Phrenology (Knowledge [arcana]), Read Aura (Perception)
Languages Common, Orc, Shoanti, Thassilonian, Varisian
Traits Focused Mind, Seeker
SQ psychic access, psychic pool (6 points, +2 equivalent weapon)
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds, potion of cure moderate wounds, acid (1) [acid splash focus], 20 alchemical silver arrows, 20 cold iron arrows; Other Gear +1 mithral chain shirt, alchemical silver kukri, cold iron kukri, masterwork composite longbow (+1 Str) and 20 arrows, amulet of natural armor +1, belt of incredible dexterity +2, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1, traveler's any-tool, belt pouch, flint and steel, journal, masterwork artisan's tools (leathercrafting), masterwork backpack, prismatic crystal[OA], scrivener's kit, silk rope, spell component pouch, waterskin, whetstone, 47 gp, 9 sp, 8 cp

Cassilda Tillinghast is a young Korvosan woman of mixed Chelaxian and Varisian descent. She is tall for a woman, slender and athletic, with large hazel eyes and fire-red hair that make her more striking than pretty. Apart from a bow and a couple large knives (kukri), she carries no obvious weapons, but as a mindblade magus she can manifest a magical weapon at will--usually a rapier. Similarly, her armor (a mithral chain shirt) is not immediately obvious under her usual street clothes.

Cassilda's father, Thales Tillinghast, was a sellsword and gambler who fell hard for a pretty young Varisian fortune-teller. Camilla Lupescu's family of wanderers took an instant dislike to him, but Thales' ability to keep both his honor and his good humor during their extended hazing amused and impressed her enough that he eventually earned her kinfolk's grudging respect. Cassilda was born a year or two later, and spent much of her early childhood traveling the Varisian wilderness with her parents and extended family. During that time, she learned some basic magical lore from her mother and the rudiments of fencing from her father.

Shortly after Cassilda entered puberty, her family's caravan was attacked by orc raiders. Cassilda was ordered to hide in the wagons with the other children, but a raider found them. She shielded the others with her own body, and in her desperation somehow manifested her mindblade for the first time--and in a lucky blow, mortally wounded the orc before passing out herself.

The raiders were driven off, but many of Cassilda's kinfolk were injured, and a few slain. The clan was forced to stop wandering and live in a city for a time, until the roads were safer or they could find another band to join. For various reasons (including a plague in Korvosa that claimed some of her clan a few years ago), this temporary measure became more or less permanent over the next few years.

With a city full of trouble to explore, Cassilda grew up into something of a back-alley bravo with a few magical tricks up her sleeve. She has learned the hard way to be careful about she works for, or with. However, she has never forgotten her first real fight, which has left her with a driving need to continue defending the defenseless.

She is also insatiably curious about psychic phenomena. She has little talent for the kind of divinations and blessings her mother practiced, but has picked up some ability to read auras--and regularly uses it before agreeing to work with other adventurers. But once her trust is given, she's fiercely loyal to her allies.

Greatest success: The rescue of young Twilda, whose uncle Glindelmire, a gnome cleric of Desna, made enemies through his charitable mission work in the slums of Korvosa. The priest, normally a pacifist, hired Cassilda to help him get back his kidnapped niece. Her swordplay and his spells kept them both alive long enough to find the girl and fight their way out. The gang members who survived found the locals now rallied around the priest, and were forced to find some other neighborhood to bully.

A failure: Being defeated by a ghoul and a dhampir swordsman on the same night. While investigating some undead attacks, Cassilda came across a man bent over a fallen body in an alley. When he looked up at her, she saw long fangs, so attacked. The man was a dhampir, and a far better swordsman than she was. Their duel was interrupted by ghouls, one of whom struck and paralyzed Cassilda. The dhampir quickly dispatched the undead, then turned back to the fallen man, his friend who had been mauled by a ghoul and was near death. The swordsman tarried just long enough to make sure Cassilda could move and defend herself again before vanishing with the unconscious man slung over his shoulder. Her sword arm still bears a long scar from his blade, where she now knows he struck to maim, not kill. She uses it to remind herself to be more careful about which fights she picks. 

A person you have a positive relationship with: Alishaya, a Qadiran dancer (and sometimes thief) who Cassilda helped free from servitude to a pimp in a nasty neighborhood in Korvosa. The two women are now lovers, sharing the magus's tiny garret room above her Uncle Vigo's leatherworking shop. Cassilda still feels occasional guilt about taking advantage of Alishaya's gratitude, but the other woman seems content, and is well-liked among the Lupescus.

A person you have a negative one with: Konrad Leafsong, a half-elven minstrel with whom Cassilda had a brief fling a couple years ago--until she discovered his drug habit, and grew sick of his chronic shading of the truth. They had a very public row, which both of them have had difficulty living down--Konrad because he was humiliated by a berserk woman, Cassilda because the bard takes petty revenge by mocking her in song.

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