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The Rusalka (Roxana Nastase)
History: The Rusalka, in traditional Traladaran lore, is a river spirit that lures men to their doom by her entrancing song. To locals in the region of Luln, however, the Rusalka is a folk hero- a warrior maiden who draws bandits and shock troops of the hated Black Eagle Baron to their deaths. At times she taunts them from a distance, drawing them on horseback into ambushes set by local townsfolk. Other times, she wades into melee, challenging the leaders of enemy bands to one-on-one combat, breaking the morale of their troops when they meet their inevitable doom. The Black Eagle would pay good money to learn the identity of this masked woman. Community loyalty has so far kept her safe, but Ludwig von Hendriks periodically increases the reward…
The Rusalka’s true name is Roxana Nastase, the daughter of a tanner near Luln. Her homestead was raided by a band of goblinoids when she was barely fifteen. Her father crippled, her home ransacked, Roxana joined with a local militia seeking vengeance. With reinforcements from Luln, the goblins were routed, and Roxana returned home to take over the family business. She was never quite able to give up the fight against the Black Eagle’s tyranny, and so she adopted the guise of the Rusalka. Together with other locals, she continues to help homesteaders who are victimized in the region of Luln.
Personality: The Rusalka is a fiery crusader against injustices committed by evil forces in the western part of Karameikos, particularly around the Luln region. She does not understand why the Duke turns a blind eye to the depredations of his cousin in Fort Doom. She works closely with local militias to try and minimize the damage wrought by the forces of the Black Eagle, von Hendriks.
As Roxana, she is somewhat demure, even shy at first. Once she opens up around strangers, her passionate devotion to justice shines clearly through. She dotes on her father, and handles her business very well, considering her extracurricular activities.
Appearance: The Rusalka is of average height, but with a lean, strong build. Her black hair is thick and curly, and unfettered. She dresses in black leathers, high riding boots, and a chainmail mask that covers her face from the eyes down. The Rusalka is also fond of wearing jewelry and other precious articles that she has taken from her foes.
In her life as Roxana, she could not look more different. She dresses plainly, usually in a skirt, blouse, and smock, often dirty from a day’s work. Her hair is plaited and worn in a ponytail, and she wears no makeup.
DMing Notes: The Rusalka can be a strong ally for the PCs. She would certainly welcome assistance against her foes in the Luln region, and the opportunity to learn new combat tactics from skilled warriors. Alternatively, the PCs could meet Roxana while at the market, and strike up a friendship or romance. Imagine their surprise to learn that she is a strong warrior in her own right- or their embarrassment if the Rusalka has to rescue them from the clutches of the Black Eagle!
Combat Notes:Female human fighter 3/commoner 1; CR 3; Medium humanoid; HD 3d10+3 plus 1d4+1; hp 28; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 17; Base Atk +3; Grp +5; Atk +6 melee (1d8+2/19-20, longsword); Full Atk +6 melee (1d8+2/19-20, longsword); AL NG; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +3; Str 14, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 14. *Statistics are age adjusted and include a +1 level bonus to Strength.
Skills and Feats: Craft (leatherworking) +4, Handle Animal +6, Intimidate +6, Profession (cook) +4, Profession (tanner) +8, Ride +5; Animal Affinity, Force of Personality, Goad, Skill Focus (tanner), Weapon Focus (longsword).
Possessions:Bracers of armor +1, heavy steel shield +1, leather armor +1, longsword.