Sister Cheryll (3.5e NPC)
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|Female human wizard 13|
|NE Medium humanoid (human)|
|Init/Senses||+1/Listen +3, Spot +3|
|Languages||Common, Undercommon, Draconic, Dwarven, Orc, Goblin, Celestial, Abyssal|
|AC||11, touch 11, flat-footed 10|
|hp||45 (13 HD)|
|Speed||30 ft. (6 squares)|
|Melee||unarmed +6 (1d3 nonlethal)|
|Spells Prepared||(CL 13th):|
7th—insanity (DC 23)
|Abilities||Str 11, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 23, Wis 16, Cha 15|
|Feats||Brew Potion, Greater Spell Penetration, Heighten Spell, Improved Counterspell, Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (craft) Spell Penetration|
|Skills||Concentration +17, Craft (alchemy) +25, Craft (torture implement) +22, Craft (glassblowing) +22, Decipher Script +22, Knowledge (arcana) +22, Knowledge (nature) +22, Profession (alchemist) +19, Spellcraft +22|
|Possessions||headband of intellect +2, minor cloak of displacement|
|If it was up to her, she'd be the only person|
in the world - simpler that way.
As the daughter of a wizardly family, Cheryll Kerrington was educated in the arcane arts from an early age. Her mastery of magic came to prominence when it was discovered that she had been writing a spellbook of her own from an early age. Cheryll's parents were nihilistic mages who traveled the planes seeking ever-greater power, disregarding anything and anyone who didn't serve their purposes. They instilled this same heartless practicality in their daughter, and would have been proud when she assassinated them for their wealth had they been alive for the occasion.
Cheryll discarded her family name like so much garbage when it turned out her parents had garnered powerful foes while they were still alive. Cheryll fled their hostility to magnificent mansions and households, hiding herself in mundanity. She always introduced herself as "Sister", as if she was part of some monastic order, and won people over with either her unassuming, kindly looks (when living among goodhearted people and in celestial courts) or with her utter self-devotion and cruelty (when living with the wicked and in abyssal palaces).
When she reached fifty, she decided her running days were over. Having always lived on the run, searching for power and looking out for number one exactly as her parents had, she found a haven in her long-time hobby: alchemy. A powerful dimensional lich called Nerukath offered her a permanent position in the staff of Keepsake, where she would nominally serve Nerukath as Head Alchemist while actually being almost entirely free to practice her trade as she wishes. She accepted the offer happily, and has been on the lich's roster ever since.
Appearance and personality
Sister Cheryll is just about the least imposing person in the world. She's 5' 1'' and weighs 150 lb., most of which has gathered onto her waist: when wearing red, she eerily resembles an apple. She keeps her hay-colored hair cropped short, and wears billowy robes, preferring muted colors. Her voice is neutral, neither too loud nor too quiet. The only thing people tend to remember about her is her rotund form and her kindly smile.
While Cheryll's appearance is kindly and her behavior seemingly loving, her mind is a twisted thing. Cheryll is entirely without morals. To her, everyone and everything is a tool to further her goals, and while her goals rarely require the pain of others or other evil acts, she commits atrocities without so much as a thought if it benefits her. Her evil is of a passive kind, born from a thoroughly skewed worldview: she's the only real person in the world, she thinks, with everyone else not really existing. Thus, no point in considering their feelings. This allows her to effortlessly cut out someone's heart as an ingredient for a potion and then look confused when someone confronts her on it.
Followers and allies
|Cheryll has tormented|
Ludwig for long.
Cheryll is in no way higher in the hierarchy of the Keepsake than most of the retainers, but this doesn't mean that she won't boss them around. Even the foulest of folk are afraid of Cheryll: she will never outright say that someone's bothering her or that she's unhappy that someone won't do as she says. She just smiles, and a couple of days later someone is found dead with their innards liquefied. This means that she can command the loyalty of most of Nerukath's staff with just a kind request, not that she usually has any reason to.
Sister Cheryll's familiar-of-sorts (she has no true animal - no one would answer the call) is a horribly maltreated animated candle called Ludwig (Int 5, slam attack deals 1 fire), awakened to a semblance of sapience through misuse of spells like animate objects and awaken. The candle's "soul" resides in the perpetually-lit flame, and Cheryll sometimes amuses herself by snuffing it out slowly through lack of oxygen, and then lighting the candle again, restoring the terrified, childlike creature to life. Cheryll understands to keep the poor, abused thing locked up, otherwise it would run away at the first opportunity.
Recent activity and plans
Cheryll doesn't worry about tomorrow. All she wants is to quietly toil away at her laboratory, extracting ever-deadlier poisons, ever more caustic acids and ever more powerful potions. She fully intends to live out the rest of her life in Keepsake, practicing her art. She'll actively defend the fortress, but only because its ruin would deprive her of a wonderful retirement plan. She's working on a particularly potent willpower-breaking potion for Ysabella, but the work is slow and erratic: she doesn't delight in domination quite as much as Ysabella does, and the lack of inspiration is slowing her down.
If there's one thing Sister Cheryll isn't, it's a combatant. Cheryll is not particularly cowardly or timid, but knows her limits: she's an alchemist, not a war wizard. At the first sign of trouble, Cheryll will use her quickened invisibility to leave the immediate fray. If fighting from behind several powerful creatures, such as the golems of Keepsake, she'll freely participate in destroying foes, although more for her own pleasure than to help her "friends".
Her fighting style represents this: she'll cast interesting spells in place of powerful ones, targeting foes with insanity and phantasmal killer just to see how they react. If forced into combat (either by having no way out, which is rare, or through the explicit orders of Nerukath or Ysabella), she's clever enough to have her low-level defenses such as mage armor and shield up. She escapes (often using teleport) when there's no one to take the punishment for her or when she's targeted: always looking out for number one, remember.