Sredni Vashtar’s Girl

As we’re wrap up our Jade Regent campaign, we’ve decided the next up will be another Pathfinder campaign, Carrion Crown. We’re just addicted to these awesome Paizo Adventure Paths.

Carrion Crown is a gothic horror type AP. I’m always trying to do something different, so on the heels of my samurai from Jade Regent, I’m going to play one of the new APG classes, a witch, and I figure a Vudran girl would be an interesting stretch.

Our GM Paul wants us to provide him with three flashbacks as part of our backgrounds for him to build on as part of the game.  Here’s mine – it’s pretty dark, and I have a fairly complex arc planned for this character.  We’re supposed to be in mist-shrouded Ustalav and know recently deceased Professor Petros Lorrimor, says the Call of Cthulhu-esque setup… So meet my character, Sredni Vashtar’s Girl. You can see her actual character sheets on our Carrion Crown campaign page.

Recollection of Longing in Captivity

Sredni Vashtar's Girl

Sredni Vashtar’s Girl

The one known as Sredni Vashtar’s Girl grew up an orphan in a baladata in Niswan, the capital of Jalmeray.  It was a hard childhood and the precociously smart and religious girl was singled out for special abuse and torment by the matron of the orphanage. The years went by slowly.

The girl’s one diversion was that she could see a strangely intelligent weasel from her window; it lived under a stump in the yard.  As she watched it, she became convinced that the weasel was one of the Thousand Gods of Vudra named Sredni Vashtar and she prayed to it for strength.

One day, tired of the abuse, she prayed fervently to Sredni Vashtar for the death of the matron. The matron was working in the yard, went to clear the stump, and was bitten by the weasel. The wound would not stop bleeding and the woman bled to death in front of the shocked children.

That night Sredni Vashtar came to the girl and said that she was his to do with as he might, and that they were to leave Jalmeray and wander the world. In response to her worship and obedience, he would teach her magical secrets that would make her powerful. Eager to escape, she agreed, and was thereafter known only as Sredni Vashtar’s Girl.

Recollection of Travel and Obedience

As an atanapratta she travelled far within and then from the Impossible Kingdoms. As they went from Jalmeray to the dark markets of Katapesh, she learned from wise men and women how to use mudras and mantras to generate mystical effects, and Sredni Vashtar taught her the arcane arts.

She met a handsome young Vudran man while in Katapesh. But Sredni Vashtar did not approve, and forbade her to see him, nipping her hands viciously when she argued. The girl snuck out at night to see they boy anyway, but when she got to the place she was to meet him, he had been killed horribly by some large bat-like creature she saw flying away.

Sredni Vashtar told the girl that she had been punished for her disobedience and that the Haunter of the Dark had taken the boy. He forced the sobbing girl to dispose of the body as her penitence. Thus did Sredni Vashtar’s girl learn an important lesson in obedience.

Recollection of Suddenly Opened Ways

Sredni Vashtar

Sredni Vashtar

At the indisputable urging of Sredni Vashtar, the girl journeyed into foreign lands far to the north; through Cassomir and up the Sellen River past Kyonin and Razmiran to the River Kingdoms and further north to mist-shrouded Ustalav.

The girl ended up in Karcau with her funds having run out and no idea what to do there, but fate intervened.  Late one evening after the Karcau Opera had let out, a young lady named Kendra Lorrimor was lured into a dark side street by a child asking for help – but this was a trap, leading her into the clutches of some monstrous creature – possibly a vampire, but it was never caught or identified. Sredni Vashtar’s Girl, looking for a place to sleep that night, happened to be in that dark street and surprised the creature and drove it off with magical dancing lights, saving Kendra from its clutches.

As a result Professor Lorrimor, her father, sponsored the odd foreign girl to attend the University of Lepidstadt, where she has been feeding her voracious intellect – while trying to ignore the voracious appetite of Sredni Vashtar to urge her to questionable deeds. She keeps up a correspondence with Kendra, who has been a positive influence on the girl. The girl writes her in an an ancient tongue so that Sredni Vashtar will not know of what they speak.

Sredni Vashtar’s girl has been living the quiet life of a foreign student at the University. The other students believe her to be a sorcerer or wizard and Sredni Vashtar to be her familiar; she allows them that belief at Sredni Vashtar’s urging. He encourages the girl in her learning of all kinds of ancient and occult lore. Now that she has gotten word of Professor Lorrimor’s death, however, she is upset and conflicted. She is saddened at the Professor’s passing and upset at her only friend’s grief; but she can’t help but be worried about her ride to the University disappearing… And into that chaos Sredni Vashtar whispers his strictures.

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10 responses to “Sredni Vashtar’s Girl

  1. I respectfully submit that it is time to kick some weasel ass.

    • She’d never do that, Sredni Vashtar knows what’s best for her, and has taken care of her all these years! (In fact, one of the real risks of this backstory is some PC deciding her weasel sucks and trying to kill it, which may get him sleep-hexed and sacrificed to something or other.)

  2. We’re about half of the way through Carrion Crown now and while linear would be a mild word for it, it’s been great fun to play. I’m keen to see what your group makes of it.

  3. Fantastic! I don’t know what you were channeling to write that messed up background but it is awesome!
    The name reminds me of Sardo Numspar, and hopefully now you’ll not be able to forget this comment and will spend the next year quoting the Golden Child 🙂

    • Thanks! I was captivated by the idea of a witch who’s not “the boss of” the familiar but instead is the dependent in an abusive relationship.

      Ha, a good movie. “Do they have ‘Star Search’ in Tibet? Probably not. Probably got ‘Food Search.'”

      The name “Sredni Vashtar” is from the classic short story which inspired her first flashback, and the girl’s picture is adapted from a pic of Indian singer Shalmali Kholgade (I was looking for a more wild looking, less traditional/proper Indian woman to use, it was remarkably hard but finally I found her). She mostly does Bollywood stuff but here’s her singing Summertime. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=421546577886843

  4. Awesome! My group is about one session away from finishing Jade Regent as well, and all voted to play Carrion Crown next too. 🙂 Great game, this Pathfinder.

    • Yep! I read the short story and thought, “But what if it was for real…” So I can’t completely take origination credit for this backstory, but it’s messed up enough I do claim some!

  5. I hadn’t heard of the story until sometime after reading your campaign journals, which just made it cooler.

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