ella Lightfoot

 

Odain alias: Bella

 

Played By: Amanda Van Rhyn [avanrhyn.lnk@ispi.net]

Homeworld: Abeir-Toril / AD&D's Forgotten Realms setting

Physical Description:

Bella, a halfling of indeterminate subrace, stands at 2'10" tall. Her hair is reddish-brown and worn just long enough to be pulled back into a tight bun; her eyes are pale blue. She's fine-featured but built healthily; all in all, the effect is stunning. Bella, although through no effort of her own, is beautiful.

She wears an outfit typical of her clergy: a full vest of chainmail, an off-white tunic and off-white breeches under it, and a medium-length turquoise ornamental cloak. She wears four noticeable pieces of jewelry: a ring on each ring finger, a silver chain and pendant (in the shape of a candle perched on a stylized eye, with a sapphire set as the iris of the eye) around her neck, and a small gold candle-motif pin on her tunic.

Powers:

Virtually all of Bella's powers come from her position as a glyphscribe a specialty priest of Deneir, the Faerunian lesser god of writing, literacy, and visual art. (They normally wouldn't work outside of Deneir's sphere of influence, the Realms, but the Nexus is a curious exception.) As a priest, she has the ability to cast spells at a moderate power level and to turn undead. Bella almost always had access to her favorite spells, which are:

  • Cure Light Wounds and Cure Serious Wounds -- Basic magical healing, and very useful in emergencies. Cure Light Wounds isn't very powerful, but one is usually enough to stabilize a wounded person for the duration of a battle. Cure Serious Wounds is quite a bit more powerful, but Bella can only cast it once a day, so she's cautious about its use.
  • Hold Person -- Paralyzes up to four people (at the caster's discretion) in a 20' cube. The spell lasts for about 15 minutes or until Bella chooses to end it, whichever comes first. Although Hold Person is quite effective in combat situations, Bella most frequently uses it against irritating partymates or irrational people ("There, cool off and think it over...").
  • Silence, 15' Radius -- Causes (fairly obviously) total silence in a 15'-radius circle from its target (either a point in space, an object, or a person). This silence nullifies all sound leaving or entering the circle, including speech; if a spell or magical object requires a chant, command word, or other spoken element, Silence makes it impossible to use. Silence has the same duration as Hold Person, and Bella uses it in a very similar way; to her, it's primarily a means of (admittedly temporarily) shutting up those she's annoyed with.
  • Spiritual Hammer -- Like Hold Person, this is another combat spell that Bella uses for more mundane purposes. It summons a hammer-shaped field of force that can be wielded like a normal warhammer, albeit a magically enhanced one. This 'hammer' remains for ten minutes or until Bella dispels it. She has better weapons (and tries to avoid combat anyway), so Bella primarily uses it as a disciplinary agent. (In other words, it's like a hammerspace mallet.)

In addition to spells, Bella has several other powers granted by Deneir. The primary such power is a divine gift for languages; Bella can speak and read virtually every language on Abeir-Toril, and she can pick up new ones remarkably quickly (although she can't keep them all in her memory, she can use them when appropriate). Bella also has an increased resistance to harmful magic that involves writing or symbols.

Aside from her priestly powers, Bella has nothing extraordinary. She's a very typical halfling, if a bit quicker and sturdier than the norm; intellectually, she's very bright and possesses an almost preternatural amount of willpower and common sense. Ultimately, though, she's a fallible mortal.

Weaknesses:

Bella isn't very strong, even for a halfling, and she possesses very little talent for weapons and combat. She's passable with the weapons she owns, but she's certainly nothing special. In addition to this, she tries to avoid combat if it's at all possible -- this isn't cowardice (although it's been mistaken for such), it's just an unusually solid realization of her combat skills as opposed to most of those she'd fight (and her grasp of the fact that pain, injury, and death are unpleasant).

Although Deneir allows his glyphscribes some measure of power, he is still a lesser god near the bottom of the divine hierarchy, and he can't grant his worshippers many of the spells that higher gods can. Because of this, Bella will probably never be able to cast anything massively earthshaking. Priests of Deneir also tend to avoid spells dealing with fire, as they work with books and other highly flammable materials; because of this, Bella virtually never uses spells dealing with fire (or, for that matter, mundane flaming things), and Deneir would probably never grant her such a spell anyway.

The life of a halfling in a human-dominated world is rarely a convenient one. Aside from the obvious problems with counters, doorknobs, and such, Bella suffers from the usual pains of halfling appetite, need for creature comforts, and (most importantly to Bella) her race's frequent stereotyping by humans as rural, ignorant, and ineffectual.

 

One of Bella's more recently discovered weaknesses is the fact that she has a severe phobia towards virtually all forms of undead; this phobia is weakest in relation to ghosts and other phantasmal undead and strongest in relation to zombies, artificially animated corpses, and other physically obvious undead. The presence of such undead usually cause her to lose her self-control and suffer a panic attack, a reaction of which she is deeply ashamed.

Skills:

Bella, as befits a traveling priest, understands the divine hierarchy and structure of both the Faerunian human and halfling pantheons. She is also a trained scribe, with the ability to write or copy books by hand and bind them; as a result of her work, she's also become a self-taught librarian, with a filing system that's relatively logical and intuitive (at least to her). She also has a command of the workings of healing herbs -- useful for treating injuries that aren't urgent enough to need a spell. Bella acquired a smattering of various other skills throughout her formal (and informal) education, including the ability to swim.

Equipment:

Much of Bella's equipment that she wasn't wearing or carrying was lost in the fire; since then, she's gotten a new backpack, but it only holds clothes, food, and a few small objects of purely sentimental value from her homeworld.

 

Her suit of chainmail is just that; it's nonmagical but well cared for, and it provides a measure of protection against attack.

 

The pendant Bella wears around her neck is in actuality her holy symbol, and it's an important component for many of her spells and undead-turning. This, in her opinion, is probably the most precious thing she owns; it's the symbol of her faith, the link to her magic, and an art object of significant monetary value. In addition to the holy symbol, she wears two other pieces of jewelry: a bronze ring on her left hand (enchanted to allow her to swim without encumbrance) and an engraved gold one on her right hand (which radiates magic but has no real effect -- there's a story behind it).

 

Bella carries only one weapon with her, a mace with a golden handle. This mace is magical, with its primary enchantment making it lighter and easier to wield. It also is somewhat more damaging than an average mace of its size. The mace is named Sulin-Milmaldur, a composite word created from two ancient dialects; roughly translated, it means "Whackbonker."

 

The writing kit Bella carries on her person contains an adequate supply of pens, ink, and paper; she also has a small stockpile of books. These books range from a carefully-transcribed atlas of Faerun and its surroundings to a tome discussing pre-Myth Drannor elven politics.

Personality:

Bella is in many ways the stereotypical overachiever -- bookish, serious, practical, and highly driven to her personal goals, most of which involve the service of Deneir. She's a much better fit in Deneir's clergy than she would have been in the service of any halfling power, and she takes a true joy in her duties involving the written word.

As of recently, Bella has been questioning certain aspects of the universe and her place in it. This increasing instability has brought out another facet of her personality that she usually tries to hide: an intense anger and intolerance for those she perceives as racist, combined with something of a hair trigger towards the issue (as well as with most idiots in general). She believes herself to have valid reasons for her feelings, but she won't share them outside of extenuating circumstances. Perhaps the only beneficial result of her self-examination is that Bella is beginning to accept the role of an adventurer; she's beginning to believe that, if she keeps getting thrust into heroic situations, it must be fate, and she might as well go with it.

Connections:

As a long-time (well, in relative terms) inhabitant of Odain, Bella has come into contact with many of the individuals inhabiting the Heart of the Mountain. Among her more notable contacts are Owen and Donnie (she respects and protects them, even though they intermittently confuse her), Mewling (to whom Bella has rigorously tried to explain privacy, with some success), and Juzoh (with whom she has formed a useful and comforting friendship reminiscent of her homeworld adventuring career). However, her most important connection in Odain is Go; although they met before reaching Odain, their friendship has deepened and solidified in the wake of Go's possession and the Impurity's subsequent actions.

 

In the same vein, Bella has become an enemy of the Impurity; not only does its actions remind her of the more loathsome gods of her homeworld, but its personal manipulation of both her and Go have struck a nerve. Although she knows better than to engage the Impurity in physical combat, she'll do everything she can to repay it in kind for what it's done.

 

Theme: "The Apologist," R.E.M.