Current Status: Summer, 1331 Avard. Jade Mantis remains in the Empire of Vridara as an herbalist. She occasionally still moonlights as an assassin, though her use of poison and the strength of the Inquisition in the empire has greatly hampered her way of life.
1st-Level Chillean Spirit Warrioress
Weapon Proficiencies: Tai Chi martial arts soft style with advancement in vital strikes, daggers.
Nonweapon Proficienies: Toxicology (secondary skill), reading and writing all, spellcraft, quick study, disguise, specific poison (thylkal), locksmithing.
Languages: Common, clan signs, Chamdoi, learning Vridaran.
Special Attacks and Defenses: The Tai Chi martial arts soft style gives her a bonus of +3 to her Armor Class, though she only deals one point of damage with her hand strikes. Excellent for flowing away from weapons and attacks, the style is very defensive. In addition, Hotaru's daggers and the undersides of her fingernails are tainted with thylkal poison. Keeping her hair up are two specialized dirks that are also tainted with thylkal, and can be thrown with deadly accuracy.
Special Ability: Because of her innate understanding of toxic substances, and her extraordinary knowledge of thylkal poison, she is a knowledgeable sage in the use of disabling poisons. Thylkal poison itself puts man-sized victims to sleep for 2d6 rounds, with a save versus poisons at a -2 penalty. Made from several special mushrooms, and the tartar of certain lizards, it is highly effective. As her knowledge of toxic substances increases, her abilities to make and detect all poisons increases as well; however, her abilities with thylkal will increase even more. Thylkal will become more and more potent with every other level she gains, gaining a -1 penalty and adding 1d6 rounds to its effectiveness. In addition, Hotaru can cast one cantrip per day to aid her abilities.
Thieving Skills: PP 15%, OL 50%, F/RT 35%, MS 43%, HS 40%, DN 10%, CW 50%, RL 15%.
Appearance: Hotaru is a young, slim Chillean woman with a narrow face, and slate-gray eyes the color of a coming storm. Her long, jet-black hair is bound up with two disguised dirks. She wears a black suit of form-hugging silk underneath a dark gray kimono of treated leathers and heavy cloth, and her tiny bare feet show beneath the edge of the kimono's skirt. The large obi she wears is dark, tied behind her in a large bow -- with daggers hidden in it, and behind the bow. Hotaru carries on her back a small pack that rides somewhat high, and she appears unarmed and helpless. Careful observers will note that she sees nearly everything around her, and though barefoot, has calluses on both sides of her hands and feet -- from strikes and feints, and hand-to-hand fighting. Her fingernails are long enough to be considered weapons, and short enough to rarely break in combat. Hotaru walks with extreme silence, rarely speaking or presenting herself as a threat.
Background: Jade Mantis, as she is most often called, is the last of Clan Himamato, in the Chamdois Empire. The clan was nearly wiped out by a rival, and to save herself, she fled -- adding disgrace to the dishonor of being the last. Unable to commit ritual suicide, and disgraced by her lack of courage, she stole away from the empire, and the continent of Chilleth. As an outsider and a mercenary, her services were of considerable value to both the underworld, and certain sea-going merchants, as she slowly wandered the world. Once an assassin for one of the most dangerous clans in the mighty Chamdois Empire, she is reduced to the status of mercenary, with no clan left to her. She died while trying to infiltrate a cave in Western Vridara, searching for the Talon of Lul with a priest of Xoriah. Though some time passed, the dedicated priest returned after having found the Talon, and had the Chuch of Lul ressurect Hotaru as part of his services. Back from the grave, she found that her adopted sister Himamato Aliunii had followed her to Vridara; together, the two would return to the Chamdois Empire, and whatever adventures would await them there.
Equipment: Mantis' most valuable asset is her backpack. In a hidden compartment at the bottom of the small pack, she keeps a number of valuables, but the most valuable of all is stamped onto the bottom of the compartment itself. Capable of casting cantrips because of the magic in her blood, Mantis prides herself on this last, hidden asset of Clan Himamoto. Also in the compartment are her lockpicks, spare metal parts, a magnifying glass, files, and other small items that she uses to both take apart and build traps. In addition to her silksuit (which doubles as a darksuit with her obi tied across her face), she has specially made climbing daggers hidden in wrist sheathes. Secreted about her body are numerous daggers and dirks, and two dirks artfully concealed in her hair to hold it up. Hotaru tries to maintain a fresh supply of special mushrooms, and the materials necessary to make her thylkol poison. At least two daggers are dosed in the poison, and some of it lies underneath her fingernails, as well.
Roleplaying Notes: Jade Mantis is the name the foreigners use to identify her. She can never reveal her clan name to anyone, for fear that the enemies of her clan would find her, and kill her. As the last of Clan Himamoto, she feels she must rebuild the clan, but to do so will require time and money. In the meantime, she hopes to earn back her pride in herself, because of her cowardice in running away from her rival clan, whose name is never spoken. Continuall watchful for her enemies, she must earn money, quickly and quietly, in the only way she knows how -- as a thief, an assassin, and a murderer for hire. She is learning, however, that there are loyalties beyond those of the clan -- loyalties to humanity, and all the races under the gods. Calm and collected in combat, she fears only intimacy. Her 'foreign' ways, such as lack of physical contact between anyone, and her quiet nature, make it awkward for her. A quick study, however, she can quickly adapt and overcome, if only for awhile.
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