Ysabella (3.5e NPC)

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CR 15

Female vampire fighter 6 and blackguard 7
LE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init/Senses +7/Listen +15, Spot +15
Languages Common, Undercommon, Abyssal
AC 33, touch 13, flat-footed 32; +1 dodge from Dodge
(+1 Dex, +4 shield, +10 armor, +6 natural, +2 deflection)
hp 84 (13 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +16/+15/+15
Speed 20 ft. in full plate (4 squares), base speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 bastard sword of sudden stunningDMG2 +22/+17/+12 (1d10+10/17-20) or
Melee slam +22 (1d6+9 plus energy drain)
Ranged +1 composite longbow +17/+12/+7 (1d8+7/×3)
Base Atk/Grp +13/+19
Atk Options Cleave, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Vexing FlankerPHB2
Special Actions spells, smite good 2/day, sneak attack +2d6, blood drain, energy drain
Spells Prepared (CL 7th):
1st—corrupt weapon, doom (DC 16), inflict light wounds (DC 16)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th):
at will—detect good
Abilities Str 22, Dex 16, Con —, Int 14, Wis 20, Cha 20
SQ aura of evil, detect good, poison use, dark blessing, command undead, aura of despair, children of the night, dominate, create spawn, alternate form, damage reduction 10/silver and magic, damage reduction 2/—, fast healing 5, gaseous form, resistance to cold and electricity 10, spider climb, +4 turn resistance
Feats Ability Focus (dominate), Alertness, Armor SpecializationPHB2 (full plate), Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Improved Critical (bastard sword), Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vexing FlankerPHB2, Weapon Focus (bastard sword), Weapon Specialization (bastard sword)
Skills Concentration +16, Hide +28, Intimidate +21, Knowledge (religion) +18
Possessions +2 bastard sword of sudden stunningDMG2, +1 composite longbow, +2 heavy steel shield, +2 full plate, ring of deflection +2, 3 vials of terinav root (DC 16, damage 1d6 Dex/2d6 Dex)
Poison Use Ysabella is skilled in the use of poison and never risks accidentally poisoning herself when applying poison to a blade.
Smite Good (Su) Twice per day, Ysabella can add +5 to her attack roll and deals 13 extra points of damage. If Ysabella accidentally smites a creature that is not good, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.
Aura of Despair (Su) Ysabella radiates a malign aura that causes enemies within 10 feet of him to take a -2 penalty on all saving throws.
Blood Drain (Ex) Ysabella can suck blood from a living victim with her fangs by making a successful grapple check. If she pins the foe, she drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution drain each round the pin is maintained. On each such successful attack, she gains 5 temporary hit points.
Children of the Night (Su) Ysabella commands the lesser creatures of the world and once per day can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms or 1d4+1 bat swarms as a standard action. These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve him for up to 1 hour. Ysabella is the Lady of Keepsake, where there are no wolves, so calling them forth is out of the question.
Dominate (Su) Ysabella can crush an opponent’s will just by looking into her eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that Ysabella must use a standard action, and those merely looking at him are not affected. Anyone Ysabella targets must succeed on a DC 23 Will save or fall instantly under Ysabella's influence as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th). The ability has a range of 30 feet.
Create Spawn (Su) A humanoid or monstrous humanoid slain by Ysabella's energy drain rises as a vampire spawn 1d4 days after burial. If she instead drains the victim’s Constitution to 0 or lower, the victim returns as a spawn if it had 4 or less HD and as a vampire if it had 5 or more HD. In either case, the new vampire or spawn is under Ysabella's command and remains enslaved until its destruction. At any given time Ysabella may have enslaved spawn totaling no more than twice her own Hit Dice; any spawn she creates that would exceed this limit are created as free-willed vampires or vampire spawn. A vampire that is enslaved may create and enslave spawn of its own, so Ysabella can control a number of lesser vampires in this fashion. Ysabella may voluntarily free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or vampire spawn cannot be enslaved again.
Energy Drain (Su) Living creatures hit by Ysabella's slam attack gain two negative levels. For each negative level bestowed, Ysabella gains 5 temporary hit points. She can use her energy drain ability once per round.
Alternate Form (Su) Ysabella can assume the shape of a bat, dire bat, wolf, or dire wolf as a standard action. While in her alternate form, Ysabella loses her natural slam attack and dominate ability, but gains the natural weapons and extraordinary special attacks of her new form. She can remain in that form until she assumes another or until the next sunrise.
Fast Healing (Ex) Ysabella heals 5 points of damage each round so long as she has at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, she automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. Ysabella must reach her coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (He can travel up to 9 miles in 2 hours.) Any additional damage dealt to him while forced into gaseous form has no effect. Once at rest in her coffin, Ysabella is helpless. She regains 1 hit point after 1 hour, then is no longer helpless and resumes healing at the rate of 5 hit points per round.
Gaseous Form (Su) As a standard action, Ysabella can assume gaseous form at will as the spell (caster level 5th), but she can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.
Skills Ysabella has a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks.

Nerukath has made the following effects permanent on Ysabella: greater magic fang (+3 bonus), resistance and telepathic bond (between himself and Ysabella).


Anem's Hold is a grim castle hugging a seaside cliff, its towers and buttresses hanging haphazardly over the dark waters. The apparent lords of Anem's Hold are an old noble family, but the true masters of the castle are an ancient lineage of vampires who hide in the castle crypts, influencing the events of the surrounding kingdoms through their human puppets. When one of the human "rulers" shows enough promise, the leader of the vampires (which changes often, thanks to infighting) welcomes them to the family with a bite. These newcomers are then given a familial position depending on their age and gender: often "son" or "daughter", but also "grandfather", "aunt", "cousin" and the like. This is done to maintain a charade of mortal existence, to soothe the vampires who, in the end, don't always find their immortality a boon.

Not so with Ysabella. A powerful knight of the human family, she accepted the title of "sister" under the usurper leader of the family, Surma, but didn't see the reason for it. An eternal life and a position of power were all that she had ever wanted. Even as a squire, she had enjoyed the tyranny she had over the peasants and hated the servitude she owned to her attended knight. Now she trod on anyone she wanted! Except not quite: Surma was a powerful vampire, which he had proved when he effortlessly disposed of the former ruling vampire of Anem's Hold. As long as she dwelt in the castle, there'd always be someone she'd have to bow down to.

This changed when Nerukath entered the castle to negotiate with Surma. Nerukath demanded the secrets of lichdom Surma had uncovered before choosing the easier path of vampirism, and Ysabella could only marvel at the force of character the enchanter possessed. He didn't have to yell, or to threaten: he spoke simply, went straight to the point, and people would bend to his will. She began courting Nerukath, who at first missed the point completely, assuming this to be some plan of Surma's. When he finally got the hint, the two learned of their compatibility: it was almost as if they were made for each other.

Nerukath achieved lichdom and stayed at Anem's Hold for a while, but both Ysabella and him wanted a home of their own. Ysabella was still not truly free of Surma's influence, although the vampire could do nothing but bow down to Nerukath, and Ysabella was becoming more powerful herself every day. When Keepsake was finished, the two lovebirds quickly moved to the fortress, becoming the sole lords of not only their new home, but of the Far Fanes as a whole: no one else has a holding there, as few even knew of the pocket dimension. The Lady of an entire world, Ysabella was finally content - for a while.

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

The Lady of Keepsake.

The Lord and Lady of Keepsake are equal rulers of their fortress, but only Ysabella looks the part: her vampiric beauty combines with an eye for magnificence when it comes to armor, clothing and jewelry. This is complimented by Ysabella's massive size: she's 6' 0'' and weighs 180 lb., almost all of which is muscle. In her human days she was occasionally jeered at as The Manly Princess, but she was always quick to silence the cavilers. Nowadays, no one would dare. Ysabella prefers hardy, stout materials in her gear: fur over silk, oak over yew, steel over gold. Ysabella has a bit of a tomboyish look to her: she keeps her black hair cropped short and her face without makeup. Her voice is naturally low and commanding.

Ysabella is similar to Nerukath in that she outwardly appears benevolent and sensible. That all goes out the window the moment someone doesn't show complete and utter subservience: her voice quickly gains a violent edge and her gaze becomes iron-hard. In her mind, everyone is lesser to her, except of course for her beloved Nerukath. If they disagree, she's quick to sic her minions to educate the poor fool. Ysabella is also greatly indifferent of almost everyone. She doesn't seem to notice most people at all, unless they commit the stupid mistake of talking over her.

Followers and allies[edit]

Ysabella and Nerukath are the joint Lord and Lady of Keepsake: their word is equally important, and thus all the household of the fortress answers to Ysabella. Perhaps even more, since most of the vampire servants were brought over from Anem's Hold or later willingly turned by Ysabella - she doesn't drain the unwilling, considering them unworthy of being vampires. The night hags of Keepsake are her handmaidens, and serve mainly her, although she would be peeved if she learned they don't consider Nerukath an equal master.

Ysabella has tight connections to his "brother" Surma - indeed, their whole relationship, once based on Surma's superiority, has now careened to the other side. Ysabella can all but order her brother, and he daren't keep secrets from her. This means Ysabella basically has access to all of Surma's underlings. It's not that Nerukath couldn't boss Surma around, but the stubborn lord of Anem's Hold wouldn't reveal his strongest tricks to the lich.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

Nerukath might be passive, but Ysabella is anything but. While being the absolute tyrant of an entire plane of existence (albeit a small one) has satisfied her for the time being, Ysabella's love of rulership and conquering means she always dreams of new lands to subjugate and of new folks to make her slaves. Even now, she gathers an army of unliving creatures, mostly Carmichael's golems and undead, both intelligent and those commanded by her blackguard arts. When their numbers swell enough, Ysabella intends to march on and conquer no less a kingdom than the entire Negative Energy plane. A grand plane - some would say megalomaniacal - but one small step at a time, perhaps achievable.

Ysabella is also close to Sister Cheryll, although it would be a terrible terminological mistake to say "friend". Potions of mind control, speaking the truth and losing all willpower are of immense interest to Ysabella, so she carefully nudges Cheryll towards such creations; carefully, because although Cheryll accepts Ysabella's rulership, she's also fully capable of leaving if Ysabella tries to exert her superiority. Thus, the two skirt around each other, Cheryll perpetually working on a concoction that would sap all agency from its drinker, at a pace the impatient Lady of Keepsake considers woefully slow.


Ysabella finds combat incredibly enticing, as long as she's got the upper hand. To her, it is an extension of dominance: physically forcing someone to see your superiority. She rarely finds reason to fight in Keepsake, since almost everyone is smart enough to avoid provoking her anger. Thus, she jumps at every opportunity of beating foes to death. This doesn't mean she actively searches for combat or that the household servants need to fear an unprovoked attack, but unruly guests and adventurers beware.

Ysabella takes the front line in any combat she takes part in. She's got more than enough armor and high enough saves to survive in the thick of it, and if she's had the time (she often has, thanks to cautious night hags), she has her protective spells up (freedom of movement, protection from energy, bull's strength and eagle's splendor) and poison on her bastard sword. This, in addition to Nerukath's buffs, makes her a melee powerhouse. Her tactics are simple and effective: get in the deep of it with her bastard sword, using full attacks as often as possible. She tries to flank a foe with a vampire servant or Ketka, the couple's pet flesh golem, which makes her attacks that much more likely to hit thanks to Vexing Flanker. The stuns from her sword make her especially deadly, and coupled with sunder attempts can keep multiple fighters busy.

If the opponent is particularly weak, Ysabella likes to take her time, showing her foes exactly how much they are below her. She'll sunder every weapon, stun every foe, even throw away her shield to slam foes to drain their levels. If on the other hand the foe is especially powerful, she'll keep back at first, trying to get corrupt weapon online and summon a few swarms to up the ante. She'll also repeatedly use her dominating gaze in a situation like this, so as to force those who dare attack her to submit. While incredibly stubborn, she's not stupid, and will leave a lost battle before she perishes - the teleportation circle-enhanced thrones in her and Nerukath's chambers are an easy route. Ysabella's coffin home is located in the same secret cache the throne teleporters lead to.

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