The Witch of Cerrano Marsh
- Age: 34
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 136 lbs
- Hair Color: Dark brown
- Hair Style: Long, straight, but usually swept up into a loose bun and pinned into place with an ornate ivory hairpin.
- Eye Color: Green
- Nationality: Madrepoorean
- Arcana: Temperance
- Temperment: Grim
- Vice: Uncaring
- Virtue: Practical
- Spirit Companion
- Fearsome Presence
- STR: 0
- DEX: 3
- CON: 3
- INT: 5
- WIS: 2
- CHA: 0
- Fortitude: 12
- Reflex: 7
- Will: 8
- Courage: 9
- Toughness: 10
- Esoteric Attack
Skills: Knowledge (supernatural), Knowledge (religion), Heal, Mystic Arts, Notice, Survival, Concentration, Stealth, Intimidate
Powers: Eldritch Power, Blood Shaping, Poison, Cold Shaping, Ghost Touch, Revive, Teleport, Animate Dead
Feats: Signature Power, Signature Power, Power Mastery (Eldritch Power, Ghost Touch), Power Mastery (Animate Dead, Blood Shaping), Power Mastery (Teleport, Cold Shaping), Power Mastery (Poison, Revive), Turn Undead, Power Focus (Eldritch Power), Cold Body, Sorcerous Talent, Track, Power Reserve, Great Fortitude, Sanguine Arts, Weapon Conduit, Quicken Power, Power Focus (Blood Shaping), Flesh as Stone, Blood Spell
- Gravechill Wielder: Gilda can create a skeleton that can use Cold Shaping with rudimentary skill. She can also apply this template to Mary if she chooses.
- Mary’s Armor: Gilda can transform a skeleton into a suit of living armor that operates as a suit of chain mail. She typically transforms Mary into armor in this way, hence the name. A skeleton transformed into armor can be transformed back with an Animate Dead check.
- Return to Rest: Gilda removes the source of power from an undead target, causing it to lose its semblance of unlife.
- Sudden Rising: Gilda generates a well of dark energy that can cause a fallen body to rise spontaneously under her control.
- Blood Skeleton: Gilda can create a blood-drenched skeleton that is difficult to destroy due to its fast healing score. She can apply this template to Mary if she chooses.
- Crone’s Caress: Gilda fires a blast of icy chill that can freeze flesh and damage material.
- Crone’s Grace: Gilda surrounds herself in an aura of pervading cold that harshly chills anything that comes within a certain distance of her. It does not harm those she deems chooses to be safe from the effect.
- Crone’s Cast: Gilda freezes the air around a target. That target may be frostbound on a failed Fortitude save.
- Crone’s Dispassion: Gilda creates an intense burst of cold that deals severe cold damage and can chill a target at the same time.
- Crone’s Descent: Gilda causes a sphere of icy wind to descend from the stratosphere and freeze all within a large radius.
- Incite Uranophobia: Gilda invokes a spear of terrible power. This projectile sears a foe with eldritch energy and overwhelms the foe with feelings of cosmic dread.
- Inexorable Banishing: Gilda fires an eldritch blast that deals damage to a foe and also strips them of any protective magical effects they may have been under.
- Globe of Forbidding: Gilda creates a sphere of occult energy that devastates all caught within it and destroys all their magical protections at the same time.
- Flock of Horrors: Gilda causes a flock of eerie birds formed of jet black energy to burst forth from her shadow, striking a foe multiple times.
- Primeval Memory: Gilda may use her Eldritch Power as the power Enhance Ability, only limited to her Intelligence score.
- Bloodtelling: Gilda may use her Blood Shaping as the power Object Reading, but only on blood.
- Cauterize: Gilda may use her Blood Shaping as the power Cure.
- Excite: Gilda may use her Blood Shaping to increase the adrenaline in a target’s body. The target gains a bonus to attack rolls, but take an equal penalty to Courage saves.
- Precise Stenosis: Gilda stops the flow of blood to a target’s brain, causing them to fall unconscious or possibly die on a failed Fortitude save.
- Red Noble’s Blade: Gilda uses Hel’s sword as a conduit, allowing her to drain the life force from spilled blood and apply it to her own energy.
- Astral Vault: Gilda may use her Ghost Touch power to astrally project herself for a number of minutes equal to her ranks in Ghost Touch.
- Witch’s Evasion: Gilda may use her Teleport power as an immediate action to teleport out of the range of any attack that would require a Reflex save. On a successful save, Gilda appears somewhere safely outside the range of the assault. On a failed save, she takes normal damage and gains a level of fatigue. In order to safely teleport out of range, she must make a Teleport check sufficient to move that distance and must make a Fatigue check as she would any time she would attempt to teleport.
- Crying Crochan: Gilda uses her Ghost Touch power to materialize the Crochan around her. Each round, the Crochan will lash out at whatever target is in range and damage them. To make the Crochan’s attack roll, make a Ghost Touch check against the target’s Defense. Use Gilda’s ranks in Ghost Touch plus the Crochan’s Charisma score to determine your attack roll. The Crochan may attack one a round for a number of rounds equal to it’s own Charisma score. If there is no target in range, the Crochan does not make an attack. Gilda cannot use any manifestations during this time, and any attempt to use a pre-activated manifestation results in the Crochan making it’s attack for that round against Gilda instead of against an adjacent target.
- Venom Extract: Gilda creates a highly toxic poison, which is twice as potent as her normal poisons.
Gilda was born to impoverished grain farmers in the south of Madrepoor. At the age of nine, her parents were killed by wood hags and the young girl was placed under the care of a local orphanage.
Gilda was ostracized as a child, and as a result spent most of her time to herself. At the age of twelve, the nuns at the orphanage began to express concern when the girl made claims that she had spoken to her parents recently. Fearing the child may be under the influence of some otherworldly force, the orphanage sought the aid of the Court of Rhadamanthus.
The Court took interest in the girl, finding that she had been born with the rare spiritual gift to commune with the dead. Hoping to cultivate her talents to their own ends, Gilda was adopted by the Court officially, and taken to the Tower of Rhadamanthus to be raised in the ways of a witch.
Gilda excelled in the the Tower, and soon was among the most respected of the lower echelons of witches among the Court. She earned particular favor with the Rhadamanthus himself, and was eventually promoted to the rank of Magister in her mid twenties. At first, Gilda spent most of her time on the field with a full compliment of Knives and Shields, where she brought her talents against man and spirit alike. However, over time, Gilda grew weary of the constant stress of active duty, and requested to take on the role of educating new recruits.
As an instructor to novice witches, Gilda found a strange sort of satisfaction. She was not a greatly loved instructor- in fact, it might be more accurate to say she was feared- but she did hold a special fondness for pupils and truly believed that she could help teach those that would someday help free mankind from the tyranny and fickle punishments of the fey.
However, it was not to last. As the hundred year anniversary of the beginning of the Age of Thorn drew closer, so too did the forces of the supernatural become ever restless. Many maligned spirits and wicked beings were becoming more influential in the world around them, and the Court was eager to quell the interlopers and turn them against their brethren in hopes of cementing their efforts.
At the border of Dompuripikast, a demon of woe named Vagran had appeared, and had compelled the people of the nearby hamlets to sacrifice their youths to him. The Court pursued Vagran, but found him nearly impossible to intercept due to his unique talents to turn a person’s inner demons against them.
Indeed, only a person yet unspoiled could hope to stand before Vagran and not be cast into a despair so profound as to leave the victim helpless. Anyone with any real life experience stood powerless before the fiend, but those with youth and unsoiled pasts would be able to shrug off his oppressive aura with little more than their own resolve. So, hoping to exploit this fact, the Court sent a group of 36 young witches, all of whom were only recently recruited, to face Vagran. Gilda insisted that they would not be able to face the fiend and survive, but she was chastised for her insubordination, and the mission was carried out as intended.
The result was a veritable bloodbath. The students, while too innocent to be victimized by Vagran’s crushing gloom, were no match for the ancient fiend, and all of them were ritualistically slaughtered over the course of a single evening. By the time Court Knives could infiltrate and provide backup, the bodies were completely unrecognizable.
Meanwhile, as her pupils were brought before the doors of Death’s halls, they called out to their instructor, hoping to use her gifts to express their fears and their anger to those still left living. Gilda could not bear the rage, and she turned her hand towards all those within the stronghold.
That evening, Gilda killed 4 of her fellow Magisters, 25 decorated witches, 3 Court Knives, 2 Court Shields, and 2 prison guards- a total of 36 people killed, one for each of her students that had died in the presence of Vagran.
Her thirst for blood still not slaked, she charged the cloister of the Rhadamanthus himself, fully intent on killing the man and tearing the organization down to it’s foundations. The anger of the souls released during the tragedy spiraled around her, their egos dissipating and their collective desires combining the beings into a massive amalgam of souls.
As the souls swirled and gathered, their wrath and sorrow only intensified. As Gilda approached the Rhadamanthus, however, she found a moment of clarity within the storm, and she realized that she had exacted her vengeance already. For each soul that had been desecrated by Vagran and devalued by the Rhadamanthus, she had slain one who had used their talents to disrupt the natural order.
What happened after that moment is unknown to all but Gilda and the Rhadamanthus himself. After that moment, Gilda left the Court, severing all ties but one. Gilda spent a year in isolation, living in the dark forests of Madrepoor. There, she spoke to no one and satisfied no desire of her own, allowing herself only to hear the voices of those that had passed. She did this in penance for her arrogance, allowing herself to become audience to the dead in exchange for admonishment for her own misguided actions while working with the Court.
After a time, Gilda began to feel a certain rhythm within the cycle of life and death, and eventually grew to be at peace with her actions and her own gifts. She came to learn that all things in the world, both serene and dire, light and dark, held a part in the way things were meant to be. She combined the positive aspects of what she had been taught in the Court with her newfound observations and wisdoms gleaned from the whispers of the departed, and began to ponder how the world could have been so greatly marred and how it might come to be restored.
Over time, Gilda once again took up her sorcerous pursuits. She crafted an atelier in the bog of Cerrano, east of the town of Coranzdora in Madrepoor. Here, she used her talents to explore the mysteries of both life and death, and kept herself locked away from all around her in hopes of unraveling some grand truth that would help to restore order and sanity to the world around her.
However, the people of Coranzdora were fearful of Gilda. They had heard rumors of the events that had caused her to leave the Court, and there was even some speculation that she was an agent of the Howler itself. Gilda typically ignored this gossip, until the time came when she found her atelier being put to the torch by an angry mob of villagers from the town. Able to collect only a few choice belongings, and the animated skeleton named Mary (whom she had created as a teaching tool while with the Court), Gilda set off on an investigation. She discovered that there had been a man in town that day- a questionable youth claiming to be the reincarnation of an old Coranzdoran druid who once saved the town from a vicious Sidhe noble.
Some more investigation uncovered that this man had been spotted in a number of other small towns, all of whom were suddenly attacked by mysterious apparitions before his appearance. Gilda recalled that when her atelier was attacked, the villagers had blamed the souls that followed her for haunting the village. She reasoned that this man had played a part in her sudden homelessness, and she began to track him across the countryside.
As luck would have it, the man had been wounded and was treated at a local physician in Coranzdora. Gilda strongarmed the doctor into handing over the tools that had been used to treat him. She discovered the faint trace of blood upon a surgical needle, and gaining his scent, she began to track him down.
Ultimately, she caught up with the man, an illusionist and charlatan by the name of Royce Christi. Gilda threatened to expose Royce’s lies, but she agreed to keep quiet in exchange for enough money to fund a new atelier. Since then, the duo has been working together, albeit tenuously.
At the start of the campaign, the two of them had recently arrived in the city of Arguila, where Royce had planned to exploit a local festival in honor of Saint Vespertina. During the midst of a local play, Royce, glamoured to resemble the holy woman, and his illusions appeared and sought to earn the favor of the festival-goers. Unfortunately, something grim was lurking in Arguila, and the ruse was interrupted by the attack of an actual evil presence as a cabal of vampires assaulted the festival.
At this time, Gilda became involved with Ambrose Mahlay and Mabry Wilhelm in an attempt to drive the vampires out of town. While they fought the evil creatures, Royce stole the carriage that he and Gilda shared, along with all of their money and fled to the Court of the Mawan, hoping to abandon Gilda and escape her punishment.
Gilda was incensed, and desired to regain her material wealth. It so happened that both Mabry and Ambrose were also seeking the Court of the Mawan, and so the three of them agreed to escort a caravan of Mawan performers back to their homeland.
Since becoming involved with these two, much has happened to Gilda. She encountered an old friend from the Court of Rhadamanthus, the witch Margerete D’Avonne. While traveling through the cursed kingdom of Depraz with the caravan, she found that Margerete was being pursued by operatives of Rhadamanthus, and she and Ambrose engaged in battle with an Athame, or a Knife of the Court.
After reaching the Court of the Mawan, Gilda intimidated Royce into honoring his word, but before the two of them could return to their old ways, the White Knight of the Rose appeared and attempted to kidnap Mabry. Furthermore, a mysterious mercenary named Jessica who had been hired by the caravan pulled Gilda aside and bonded the soul of the slain Knife to her, allowing her to learn the true motivations of Rhadamanthus.
It seems that Rhadamanthus is using Margerete to get to her, with hopes of forcing her back into their service. They have machinations of obtaining Seget, Ambrose’s angelic alter ego, as a spiritual servant, and they had hoped to use Gilda to do it. Gilda decided it would be best to remain with the group.
As time went on, she encountered many perils, including Hecate, the Hangman of Faery, The Green Knight of the Rose, the Luminous Arget, and a fellow freelance witch under the name of Evelyn Schroedinger.
Most recently, Gilda’s soul was removed from her body while performing an ancient druidic ritual with the rest of the group, at which point she was cast into Niflheim. There, she encountered Hel, the face of Death herself.
Hel informed Gilda that a great peril endangered not only her world, but the sanctity of the World Tree itself. She pitted Gilda up against the Jaws of Hell, a terrible beast that resides in the frozen wastes of Niflheim and gnashes at the souls of the dead for all eternity. In a battle of sheer will, Gilda forced the Jaws to submit, and Hel honored her by bestowing on her the mantle of the Dis.
Now, as the Dis of Hel, Gilda is a representative of Death in the world. She is currently armed with Hel’s sword, which she had obtained from a tomb in a tower in southern Madrepoor, while the group had been embroiled in battle with a terrible Sidhe noble. The sword had been rapidly shortening her lifespan, causing her to be thrust into the world of the dead when her spirit left her body during the druidic ritual. However, now that she has become the Dis, she no longer is affected by the blade, and can use it as a conduit for her powers.