Character concept by Sam Deutsch, all rights reserved.
Born: Sometime around 1311 Avard.
Current Status: In the employ of the Star's End Monastery.
All kalashtaris appear very similar to humans, but they have a grace and elegance that makes them appear almost too beautiful. They are slightly taller than the average human, and their faces have a slight angularity that sets them apart from the human norm, but their deviation from average only makes them seem more attractive.
The Lady Stonda is no exception. At six feet tall she towers over most human females, but her angular facial features, combined with her slender (some would say frail) arms, legs, waist, and neck, suggest that she was groomed less for battle than for nobility. What Stonda lacks in strength is made up for by her stolid presence, awareness, and insight. Her posture is erect and proper, and all of her movements are purposeful. Her eyes, as is the rest of her body, are captivating. The green of her irises complement her olive-colored skin, which maintains the firmness and tone of youthfulness. Her full lips are a darker shade of olive, and from them only the most beautiful words could come forth, or so one would guess. Stonda's long black hair is tied in a braid that extends halfway down her back. However, few ever see the braid because of the way Stonda's chestnut brown hooded cloak often conceals her person. The only opening of the cloak is just below the neck, exposing the finely woven ringmail underneath, from which emanates a faint silvery indigo shimmer.
Stonda is known to say, with either kindness, malice, or any other sentiment, 'There is no blade sharper than a well trained word, and no weapon deadlier than a turn of phrase.' This, issued with a flicker of her penetrating green eyes has, in equal measure, reassured her companions and struck the darkest fear into the minds of her enemies.
The youngest of 9 siblings, Lady Stonda was born to the second wife of one of the High Lords of the Kalashtar race. With noble parentage, Lady Stonda learned the ways of her father's court and customs. Even at an early age, Stonda was the perfect Lord's Daughter. She always knew her place. She was polite, tactful, and engaging - others always wanted to be in her company. When Stonda entered a room, people took notice. From her teachers she learned to read and write, but also learned the art of conversation, how to read people and situations, and how to inspire others to take action. Many said that, had she been born a male, she would have been chosen by her Lord Father to rule after his passing.
At thirteen years old Stonda was content with her life's trajectory and her eventual station - she was to be the wife of some well-to-do to-be-named Lord who would make many offspring on her. One day her favorite sister, Pantari, Stonda's elder by five years, was married to a Lord as part of a political maneuver. It was not long after the wedding when Stonda visited Pantari and found a terrible bruise on her sister's arm. People suspected that Pantari's Lord Husband, in a drunken rage, had savagely beaten and killed his first wife, and now Stonda began to seriously fear for the life of her sister. Weeks later, Pantari's Lord Husband was once again a widower. His court claimed that in the dim of night Pantari had misplaced her step and fallen down a flight of stairs in the unfamiliar castle, breaking many bones (including her neck) in the process. News of the tragedy reached Stonda's father in the two days time it took for a rider to make the journey, but Stonda knew her sister was dead the minute it happened.
The night of her sister's death, in Stonda's bedchamber, Pantari's voice had forced itself into Stonda's mind. It shouted, 'Sister, he's killing me!' and all again was silent. Stonda, who had been sleeping, thought this was only part of a bad dream and dismissed what she would later learn was her first encounter with telepathic powers. When, two days later, the confirmation of her sister's death ultimately reached her, Stonda vowed that she would never allow any man to harm her and she took actions accordingly.
Stonda continued her studies, but clandestinely applied herself to the more unsavory aspects of diplomacy. By private study of her court and culture texts she learned when and how to lie so well that falsehoods were spoken from her lips seemingly without effort. She became wary of strangers and friends alike, training her ability to gain insight and perceive her surroundings. She also learned that force is simply non-verbal diplomacy, and became proficient with the longspear, a weapon she chose because it represented everything she was. It was tall, sleek, slender, and beautiful in its simplicity, but it was also rigid, firm, and hardened. When trained on an enemy it could be deadly, even from a distance.
The confidence Stonda gained with her weapon was often manifested as intimidation. She would not resort to threats of physical violence. Still a child, she was far too weak to back up any threat of a physical nature. However, she had become so adept at understanding the politics of her father's court that any who crossed her knew that she could manipulate the will of the people who were in control. Stonda could make things happen, and that was real power.
The following year, walking the grounds of her Lord Father's castle, Stonda began to hear voices inside her head as she walked by members of the court. She soon realized that she had the ability to hear the thoughts of others who were nearby. A week later, Stonda, now a beautify young Lady of fifteen, saw Lord Bitha, her Lord Father's Master of Treasury in the passageway outside the Great Hall walking toward her. Their arms brushed as they passed and Stonda heard from Bitha, 'I'd taste the honeycomb between your legs sweet, sweet girl.' Stonda rounded, and screamed a string of profanities of her own. The next she knew, Lord Bitha was on ground, cowering in fear, and stammering. Later, when the guard at the entrance to the Great Hall was questioned (after all, the entire scene unfolded directly in front of him) he admitted truthfully that he had not heard a single word. Upon reflection, Stonda recognized that she had not heard or spoken a word either, and that she had been reading Lord Bitha's mind. What had happened next, she realized, was the result of the Dark Speech curse she had learned just a few days earlier, and she had transmitted the curse telepathically.
It continued like this for another year. Externally, Stonda presented herself as a Lady. She said and did everything that was required of her as the Lord's Daughter. Inside, Stonda learned how to harness her less virtuous talents as well as her newfound powers of telepathy, and, lately, telekinesis. After a while it became apparent to Stonda that she could not remain in her Lord Father's castle much longer. She had also made another vow to herself: The Lady Stonda would never marry. She knew she was different from most Kalashtaris, let alone her fellow nobles. She would flee the castle and live the life of an adventurer.
Six years later, the Lady Stonda, the last child of Lord Dawntracker of the Kalashtari, wizened by time and sharpened by the harshness of the world, finds herself at an inn with a rouge named Lucard discussing how he makes a living. The little gold he has was given to him by a monastery that hires people to find, aquire, and translate ancient texts. He's been with this outfit for a while, but is questioning whether or not to take their next job. It seems that his friend, companion adventurer, and fellow hired fighter for the monastery was recently killed in an attack of the monastery. 'Take me to this monastery,' Lady Stonda said to the weary adventurer. 'Your tale has touched me, and I would not want further harm to come to you. As it happens, I may be of service to your monastery.'
Lady Stonda of the Kalashtar race was born a noble and is a natural diplomat. An early childhood experience has scarred her, and she has taken to the life of an adventurer, standing up to the injustices inflicted upon the innocent and those of admirable quality.
2nd-level Kalashtar Bladesinger