Epic DnD - Scales of War
== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ==
Vaxxa, level 1
Build: Wrathful Runepriest
Runic Artistry Option: Wrathful Hammer
Dragonborn Racial Power Option: Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Strength
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Cold
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 20, CON 14, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 14, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 8
AC: 18 Fort: 15 Ref: 11 Will: 12
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 8
Athletics +12, Endurance +7, Heal +5, Religion +5
Acrobatics +0, Arcana +0, Bluff +0, Diplomacy +0, Dungeoneering +0, History +2, Insight +0, Intimidate +2, Nature +0, Perception +0, Stealth +0, Streetwise +0, Thievery +0
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Dragonborn Racial Power: Dragon Breath
Runepriest Feature: Rune of Mending
Runepriest Attack 1: Word of Diminishment
Runepriest Attack 1: Word of Shielding
Runepriest Attack 1: Flames of Purity
Runepriest Attack 1: Rune of Endless Fire
Level 1: Power of Strength
Scale Armor x1
Battleforged Light Shield x1
== End ==
Vaxxa is a Dragonborn, proud, fierce, tall, with greeny-bronze scales that flash with gold iridescence in full sunlight. She is the fourth-born in her family, thus has given her life to becoming a Runepriest. (The eldest child will become the next generation’s head of the family; second and third born become warriors; fifth born turns to magic, and the younger ones have more freedom. Her family are kind of stodgy traditionalists.) She is not in line to inherit family lands and property unless her older siblings all die, and she has no interest in having that responsibility, preferring to travel rather than to settle down.
Where do heroes come from? Are they made or are they born, or is it some mysterious combination of both? And how does it happen that a carefree young Dragonborn girl leaves the mountains around Varshtenspire to go on Peregrination? There is no full history, not yet. But there are some pieces of documents available that hint at that history.
Born, to Verleth and T’Dana Shashkral, Lord and Lady of Pelthspire, a girl, fourthborn, Vaxxa T’Kanar Shashkral
Mother, here’s the official notice for your scrapbook. Another little one for you to spoil. Good healthy lungs on her; drives the twins to tears. Can’t tell color yet – still looks just murky brown like all babies do, but she definitely has gold scale glimmer. –V
Wonderful news! I don’t want to be accused of overshadowing Lyrra, so expect me in about three months’ time. I will plan to stay for two months. For Bahamut’s sake, don’t ever tell Vaxxa what the gold glimmer means; let her grow up like any normal child as much as possible! I don’t know if you remember Jerdeth Pelgana? He’s one who had gold glimmer, and his parents kept telling him how he was meant for greatness, and he grew from a petulant brat to an insufferable young man to a vain drunken lout whose ultimate glory ended up being killing one of the Vresheth Overlords entirely by accident in a drunken stupor, before falling over the wall himself and into the river and drowning.
Love, Anya Shashkral
P.S. and I never spoil the little ones any more than is perfectly proper.
It was lovely to see you again, my dear, although at my age, having four younglings underfoot is getting to be a bit strenuous – I’m sure you understand. Thank you for arranging for me to have the room at the far end of the east wing; my headaches, you know. Such a trial. The twins are certainly quite robust and developing well. Is there anything you can do about Vaxxa? She has such…common tastes. When I went down Wednesday last to remind your cook that rich foods are too indigestible, Vaxxa was there, perched on a stool, peeling vegetables and asking about making stews! I chased her out of there, and she stuck her tongue out at me and laughed! Are you sure she is getting enough discipline? I fear she will grow up to be lazy. Thank Verleth for letting me use your coach, although you might mention that I think the springs might need looking into; they are very noisy and the coach seems to list to the left. Also, I think I forgot my footrest, my pink shawl, my wool bed cozy (the purple one with the crest embroidered in gold), and my silver scissors. I hate to be a trouble to you, but if you can send them as soon as you can it would be lovely.
Love, Mother (Lyrra Peligar, Lady Tashnivok)
My apologies, my lady, for sending your daughter home early and soaking wet. I recall that you did request that I discipline her as I would any other youngster. Today at recess she was racing at tree climbing with some of the others, went up rather high, and the branch she was on broke. She caught onto some other branches on the way down, and was (amazingly) unhurt, although on the last drop she fell into the river. I am sending her home to change her clothes. She does not need to come back to school today.
The funniest thing happened today. It was raining, so we were playing hide and seek inside, as quietly as we could since Grandmother Lyrra is here. I found a good hiding place up in the attic, because no one found me, but Crish says it’s because they decided not to look for me and went to play at battle in the basement instead, without me, which is so unfair because I like doing that too, but they always say I’m too little. Anyway I got bored up in the attic and started poking around the old chests and playing dress up. And then I looked at some of the old books up there, but they don’t have pictures in them. And then I moved things around so I could climb up to look out the window. Anyway, after that I found a little chest which is old and belonged to some great-great-grandfather or other, I think. It’s locked and no one knows where the key is or what’s in it any more. It has funny writing on it and one of the things was sort of glowing, so I poked at it, and it jumped onto my finger! I was so surprised! I almost cried out, but remembered that Grandmother Lyrra would probably hear me, so I bit my lip hard instead. The glowing thing didn’t hurt or burn at all; it sort of flickered and raced up and down my arm like a little pet. It wouldn’t shake off either, but I touched the lock on the box and then it jumped off me. But what do you think happened next – THE BOX UNLOCKED! I was trying to decide whether to tell mother about it, or just open it, when I heard Grandmother Lyrra calling me for lunch, so I just poked at the lock and the glowing thing jumped back on me and back off to the top of the box and it was LOCKED again. I’m not going to tell the twins either, because this is my secret and besides they always say I’m telling stories. Whether I am or not.
My dearest Verleth,
I hope your Council business is proceeding well. This is not meant to be anything to worry you, but I thought you should know. I think I saw a manifestation today in Vaxxa.
The children were playing at skirmishing today. I know Vaxxa is a little small for this, but she enjoys it so, and they’re playing with padded toy weapons. (I don’t think she could get more seriously injured that a bruise or scrape, and it would do for her to learn when NOT to get in the middle of everything.) As usual, she was not in front, but she was near the twins. Crish left her shoulder open as she tends to, and a blow came in toward her, and at the last minute struck her glancing. I watched a little more closely, and it certainly looked to me like anyone who was around Vaxxa had a little aura of protection around them; when the fight moved away from her, the aura was gone.
If you get this before leaving Varshtenspire, I think we need to see about getting her into Felicci, so please find out what the requirements are.
All my love, T’Dana
Vaxxa Shashkral has been one of my students for several years now. She is very athletic and is a bright student. If her grades do not always reflect this, it is because she has a tendency to be curious and to follow lessons beyond where they are intended to lead. This can distract her at times. While she is obedient and easily redirected, I don’t think I have been able to encourage her adequately to put forth full effort in her schooling. If she is interested and challenged, I think she would do better. While she is just barely of age for Felicci, I do not think she would have problems there. She is able to get along with and stand up to older children, her siblings included. I do not think for a minute that she would be intimidated by older students at the Academy. I recommend her to you despite her scores on the Entrance, which were all exactly one point below the cut off.
Prynn – You would like this one. She is funny, good of heart and fearless. I don’t know how she did it, but I suspect her Entrance scores were deliberately low. She is NOT doing that badly academically. Salar
I am applying to have my daughter Vaxxa enter Felicci Academy at 16, which is the minimum age. She has the gold glimmer, and we believe we have started seeing some manifestations. However, rather than push her off to a temple (she is fourth born), we would like her to have a chance to learn and develop more, preferably under a more knowledgeable and watchful eye. She has certainly heard rumors and stories about the Blood who have gold glimmer, but we have not encouraged any such belief, and would prefer to keep it that way.
Verleth, Lord Pelthspire
For Bahamut’s sake, take Vaxxa Shashkral as a student! One, she is as charming a young lady as you will ever see, even though she is more a tomboy than a flirt. Two, she’s already starting to manifest. A couple weeks ago she was writing in her diary, and I swear I saw her lift some of the characters off the page as if written in light and play with them up and down her pen, hand and arm. Three, she is my granddaughter.
P.S. Keep your door locked and be careful opening cupboards when she is there. Anya
Is it true that you are sending Vaxxa to Felicci? I cannot imagine a more inappropriate child for that setting. Surely the local school is good enough for her. Mark my words, they will have her sent down before she has completed her first year! She needs to learn to concentrate on her work and be more respectful to her elders, and to keep out of kitchens and vegetable gardens and gameskeepers’ quarters and other places that are inappropriate for a supposed young lady. Well, I suppose she is your child, and it’s not my place to tell you what to do. Felicci is expensive too; I hope Verleth can afford it. But you can’t tell anyone I won’t do my duty by her, if you’re certain this is what you want. I will help out with linens and uniforms (three). If she is sent down in disgrace, she won’t be shabbily dressed.
P.S. Was that poem you sent me really written by her? It was quite good, and my friend Dranta thought it was very well written. I have it pinned up by my mirror. Perhaps there is some hope for her yet.
P.P.S. Do remind Vaxxa not to talk at the dinner table with her mouth full. It is quite disgusting.
I had the funniest dream last night. As I write it down, I think it should be a nightmare, except that I didn’t wake up from it feeling scared. If anything, it felt rather jolly. I was in some kind of room like a basement, but larger, with torches lighting it, and I was with a bunch of odd people I don’t know. They weren’t Blood, but in my dream they were plainly people I knew. We were looking for something important, but it kept changing between being a person we were looking for, and some kind of thing like a flag or a crown. A bunch of some kind of short creatures jumped out and attacked us and that was all a blur, but then they were gone and we went into this long, dark hallway. A Dwarf of some kind was part of our group and he stopped us, and we couldn’t go on because there was a bottomless pit in our way. Then it sort of felt a little scary, but I wanted to see the bottomless pit and I walked up to it, just to look down in, and I got this horrible feeling in my stomach…and then I woke up.
I never did get to see what a bottomless pit looked like. I hate it when dreams are frustrating like that. It put me in a bad temper that morning, and I didn’t go out with Crelthan and Crish to see whether the frogs had hatched out yet, and Father accused me of being a grump and Grandmother Lyrra told me my face would freeze like that, and then I wouldn’t ever catch a husband. I stuck my tongue out at her and Mother made me apologize and then sent me to my room.
What are you going to do now that Crish and I aren’t there to keep you in line? We’re in the same unit – Crish wasn’t supposed to be, but she talked someone into changing places with her. You know there’s no one else I’d rather have at my back, although she says she misses you – you always seemed to be our lucky charm in fights. But you know there’s no place for kids in the Border Wars. Except maybe as unit mascot. How would you like to come up and be ours? You’d get to hang out in a cage. People would feed you snacks…and you could bite their fingers! Sounds just like you!
In all serious, it’s damp and grimy. The days are long and the bugs are irritating. We don’t really wish you were here, but do send us some eats – the food here is nothing to write home about.
I hate it here so much. I don’t understand why I couldn’t stay at home, and why I had to come to school here. It’s not like they know anything more than we were doing back home. I know I’m supposed to become a priestess of some sort, and the battle training will be fun, but it’s not like I’m trying to become some sort of special oracle so I don’t know why I have to come here. Our books are SO heavy to lug around, and Madame Prynn has all qualities I hate in Mom, Dad and Grandma Lyrra all together. The food is okay, but it’s all plain cooking and desserts aren’t anything like at home. My room is okay, but the hall is noisy. Cytha, one of the girls, is always shrieking about something stupid. She also looks down her nose at me, like I came in from the country and don’t know anything. But then I showed her up at archery placement AND in literature. We have lights out early. It’s stuffy in my room. My view is over the inner quad so I can’t see anything interesting. I’m probably going to die of fever before I graduate. Then they’ll be sorry.
- Vxa Vxa
I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already. I’m looking forward to going home, but I can hardly wait to come back. We have such plans for next year. I hope our combat group gets to stay together; we were second place among First Years this year, but we could have done better, and we want to go for first next year. I suppose I won’t miss Prynn; every time I see her watching me I just imagine her writing my parents to tell them what I did wrong this time. “Vaxxa doesn’t watch where she’s walking and trips up the other students.” “Vaxxa doesn’t pay attention in class.” “Vaxxa is arguing in her History of Religion class.” “Vaxxa always telegraphs where she is striking with her warhammer.” I am in fear that I won’t be allowed back.
The strangest thing happened today. (It seems like I keep saying that, don’t I?) It was after field exercises, and I was out with Ganshal, scouting in advance of where we think the next one will be. We were crossing the old field up back of the school, which is all rocky and overgrown, looking for possible placements for ambushes when Ganshal jumped off a boulder, slipped a bit, came down heavily in a weedy patch, and a bunch of old wood gave way and he fell down a well!
He didn’t fall all that far, because he’s pretty quick, but he was kind of screaming (he would say grumbling, but he started out screaming) about his ankle which I think he twisted when he slipped because otherwise he wouldn’t have had any trouble climbing up. Anyway, he needed a pull, and even lying down I couldn’t quite reach, so I used my belt for the extra few inches. That got him to where I could grasp his wrist, and that’s when the strange thing happened. These little runes formed along my arm and raced down my hand and onto him. It’s a good thing I had his wrists because he was so startled he nearly let go. The really strange thing is that his ankle started feeling better after that, and by the time we got back to Felicci, he was walking normally.
I swore him to secrecy. I don’t know what this is all about, but if I find out, I want to do it on my own. I don’t want people to point at me and whisper about me. They do that enough already.
I think I have found you a born Rune Priest! Her name is Vaxxa Shashkral (Verleth and T’Dana’s younger daughter). I have long suspected her, but had nothing conclusive to base my suspicions on until quite recently. I don’t know if she’s only starting to manifest, or is very clever at hiding her manifestations. I suspect the latter, because her mother reported early indications, oh, years ago. And while on the one hand I find it difficult to believe we haven’t seen anything, she also has several very close friends who would help her keep a secret if she asked. I’ve been watching her, and I have thought, a couple times, that I saw her power some Runes such as on tapestries and other objects here, but by the time I could get closer, they were dark again.
She knows she is here at school to follow a priestly tradition for her family, but has not shown any preference as to what type. Our early years of study are rather general, as you know. The way I caught her out was thusly: we had exams recently, and one of them covered many different aspects of priesthoods. We touch on some basic Runes in class, and those are covered too. Well, on her exam, I included an extra page with many more difficult (and a couple truly complicated) ones – and she understood them all, even the ones that aren’t in any of the standard texts. I called her to my office to go over her results and left her there while I stood and watched, hidden, from the anteroom. I had left a Rune inscribed pen on my desk. She is a fidgeter and does play with pens, and sure enough, she picked it up, some of the Runes powered and she had them dancing up and down the pen and across the desk. I’ve never seen anything like it. I must have made some small sound, because as quick as a wink they all vanished back onto the pen and the pen was in its place and she was kicking her heels on the chair.
Vaxxa is not the most serious of students, but she isn’t stupid. Perhaps having some focus and some more serious studies will capture her imagination. If nothing else, she will be interesting.
They say no good deed goes unpunished. How was I to know what runes we did or didn’t study? I figured if I could vaguely remember them, we must have done. I know I’ve found a little extra to read about them, but there isn’t a lot out there. I never would have expected I could “know” things I’ve never actually learned!
So I am to be trained as a Rune Priest. Apparently, according to Dr. Gahneth, who is a scholar and professor and advisor to the Council and all kinds of serious fuddy-duddy-ness, I actually already am one. “Rune Priests,” he says in a lecturing voice (which now I know is his normal voice), “can be made or born. One who is made can only go so far with the language of life and the gods. One who is born has fewer limits.”
“Fewer limits” seems to mean “less free time” because of taking “extra course work.” There! I sound like I’m complaining when I really don’t mean to be. On the one hand, it’s very interesting to know that I am not possessed or crazy or regressing to feral. On the other hand, runes are very interesting. They say that the Major Runes are the building blocks of the universe itself; lesser ones are the Names of the Gods; lesser ones describe natural features such as mountains and waterfalls. They come in all kinds of levels. Even lesser ones, such as I can understand, are actually very powerful.
I hope there’s one that helps you remember other ones! It could be dire if I remember something wrong – I don’t want to singe Dr. Gahneth’s scales!
Dear Miss Shaskral,
As you set out on your Peregrination, I wanted to leave you a few thoughts. Never doubt that Peregrination was the correct choice! I’ve done some more research, and indeed, Bahamut sends the conviction to go through a dream very much like the one you described. Most dreams, as I am sure you know, are mere diversions and amusements, sometimes even terrors. But very rarely one may be an indication of a directive of the Gods, and I am confident that this is your path.
I have taught Rune Priests before, but rarely have I taught one who has the knack that you do for handling the Runes. I think you could go far, and this is based on what you were like as my student, not based on any belief in scale glimmer. If I have any advice for you in this regard, it is this: Don’t go looking for greatness. Be yourself, always be yourself. It is your greatest strength, and if you are true to yourself, greatness will find you, if that is to be your destiny.
And wherever your travels take you, please do not forget your old teacher. Perhaps one day you will become a teacher yourself and help the next generation of Rune Priests find their calling. If you have time, direct a letter my way every now and then. That way, when you become famous, and I am in my dotage, I can bore everyone by telling them about when I knew you.
May the Runes always dance for you,