The first of the iconic characters to be unveiled in the coming weeks in anticipation of the release of the Kickstarter module is Floramonda Malvasia. These iconic characters can be considered the default pregenerates to be played in the adventures of this series.
Floramonda, of the Romagna (the eastern coastal half of the Italian region the adventures are set) lineage of Malvasia, represents the archetypal fighter. On the sheet below, three particular characteristics deserve a quick explanation, which will be further explored in future articles and in the adventure, as they’re not part of the SRD.
The first set concerns the humoral values, the four elements that make up the balance of the characters’ physical, mental and spiritual health. Ideally all four of these values should be kept in balance, however there is one of these that in the PG’s neutral state tends to be the main one, e.g. Floramonda is o sanguine character, which means her prevailing humor is blood, but nevertheless in her distinctiveness all four humors within her are in a state of equilibrium. Further details about the humors are given in the adventure but will also be published here in Reference Document format on the site in a future section.
The second trait also not part of the SRD and used for the adventure is the House. Not all PGs have a Household of origin. Belonging to a noble family has advantages and disadvantages and especially direct involvement in the conflict between papacy and empire. Noble characters have a blood bond with their lineage that manifests itself in different ways in the game. The Malvasia, in this case, are a lineage linked to the world of astronomy, of the stars. As much as astral influence has its own role in the rulebook (for example, it influences with the timing of cure from ailments) the Malvasia have a particularly deep connection with it: they are, so to speak, “‘star touched.'” This results in a special ability that can be invoked in adventure when Floramonda is under a starry sky. Each lineage has its own specific characteristic and power in this setting. As mentioned before, however, being a member of a lineage, by contrast, also means being part of the power play that is escalating day by day in the dawn of spring that succeeded the unforgettable Night of Screams.
The third value is a checkbox. Has the character been baptized? This makes all the world of difference in several ways in the setting of Of Iron & Thorns. For example, a baptized character cannot strike a clergyman in any way because of the universal pact called the Peace of God. For all intents and purposes clergy characters are automatically protected by a sanctuary effect toward all baptized people. In return, the unbaptized have a special susceptibility to demonic possession and other disadvantages that will be described elsewhere.
Medium humanoid (human), lawful good, baptized
Patron: Saint Dominic
Armor Class: 16 (splint mail, shield)
Hit Points: 30 (3d10 + 6)
Speed: 30 ft.
|16 (+2)||12 (+1)||14 (+2)||10 (+0)||15 (+2)||13 (+1)|
Humors: as mentioned before Floramonda is sanguine. Her temperament is often abrupt, she gets impatient quickly, but she is also driven by strong passion. She has advantage on saving throws toward negative effects on blood humor damage (e.g., bleeding).
Skills: Athletics +4, Insight +4, Intimidation +1, Perception +4, Swimming +2
Senses: passive Perception 14
- Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (1d8 + 2) slashing damage.
- Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.
- Equipment: Splint mail, shield, longsword, 2 javelins, backpack, bedroll, mess kit, tinderbox, 10 torches, 10 days of rations, waterskin, 5 GP.
Features and Traits
Condottiero: Floramonda’s lineage and her family’s position has enabled her to receive a contract of condotta, a type of feud that allows her to recruit groups of soldiers to establish agreements with power figures such as nobles and clerics, to form small mercenary armies for battles and other enterprises. As the undisputed leader of her group, Floramonda uses her privilege to enter into business contracts involving the group.
Heirloom: the stargazing House Malvasia of Bononia (Bologna) has been blessed with a powerful connection to the stars. When undertaking a new feat or making choices such as a path in the wilderness, or predict an ambush, Floramonda can perform the equivalent of a ritual under the stars to get an idea of the best choice, her eyes turn black as opals, and she can invoke the effect of an augury spell. This heirloom can also be used by the DM in a nonlinear, strictly RAW way, for example, to suggest to the player that the character has a strange premonition, or senses danger. Don’t bind yourself only to the numbers; this setting is best enjoyed by leaving an overall sense of indefiniteness. You can also use your heirloom as an inspiration. Heirlooms are flexible, Floramonda’s star touched characteristic is also somehow connected to some deep horrors from beyond the stars which were common during the First Era.
House Malvasia is serving House Malatesta, and is therefore officially a papal Guelph House. As such, official encounters with imperial Gibelline houses like the House of Este will be handled with great care. Floramonda’s main antagonist is the condottiero Luigi Dal Verme. Her lord is and her lord is Cornelio Malvasia, currently living in Bologna.
Nocturnal Danger Sense. at nighttime Floramonda has advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that she can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, she can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated. She also has advantage om ST vs fear/unknown.
Sainthood (1): her first step into sainthood allows Floramonda to invoke an inspiration when following the word of the bible.
Martial Archetype: captain of venture (use banneret from official supplements).
Tactics. Floramonda is a capable fighter, relying on her martial prowess to win battles. She prefers to engage in melee combat, using her longsword to take down foes. She also carries javelins for ranged attacks. She is a skilled tactician and is able to quickly assess a situation and come up with a plan of attack. Her impatience sometimes prevents her from formulating plans in detail but this is a point of her character that she plans to work on, for the sake of her followers..
Floramonda is the fifth of five children, born in Bononia (Bologna) twenty-five years ago (the 14th year of rule of emperor Fredrick I). From a young age she was a person of action, and despite her unyielding faith in Christ she had to quickly give up cloistered life as a nun after not even a year. Palace intrigues and complex ceremonies were not for her, and as soon as she could follow her brother outside the walls as a squire, she found her love for the craft of arms. Malvasia’s supernatural ability to foretell trouble has saved her from the battlefield twice already, the second time only a few months ago in the fall of last year when she was engaged in Cyprus fighting against privateers to defend cargoes of fine wines from the east bound for the marketplace of Bologna. She had the ship dock prematurely after getting a signal from the stars, saving her from a tremendous storm. Winter was just around the corner, and because of God’s Truce, the period when no Christian is allowed to wage war (this is also the period when abomination hunters flock to forests and remote places to hunt for monsters, but that is another story), Dame Floramonda decided to return to her lands. She was in Romagna part of the Church State, in Castel Pandolfo at the court of the lords of Ariminum (Rimini), when storms raged across the world last winter at the birth of Emperor Frederick II’s grandson at Christmas. After months stranded in Ariminum at last the fields became clear, if muddy and hardly practicable, and Floramonda headed eastward where conflict with the Empire would be more likely and violent, in search of companions to set up a venture company. Stopping first in Bononia where her wealthy family sold fine wines, she finally joined the other PGs, heading north to the Estense capital. The Este are the richest and most decadent family in service of the Empire, but their court has always been a safe haven for artists and neutral ground for ambassadors. It’s the perfect place to collect information and find a good engagement. Under the blessing of the Church, of course.