Colorful Characters 18: Laura Kraul

Spear Woman by LJF Hutch
Spear Woman” by LJFHutch

Laril Kraul spent his early years in a small village on the Venusian coast. For generations his family–along with most other families in the village–had been fishermen. Laril was taught to use a net and spear from a young age, and proved adept in their use. During his teen years, he even created and popularized a form of gladiatorial jousting within his village which used the tools (the spears were blunted, of course). As he grew older, however, he became increasingly aware of the fact that he was different from the others in the village. The responsibilities he was expected to shoulder were awkward for him, and he often fantasized about what it would be like to be other people within his village. To experience their lives, and everything that went with that.

When Laril reached manhood, he took his leave of the village. He had always been strong, and the call of adventure gave him ample opportunity to explore his feelings of discontentment. Mastery of his unusual weapons proved beneficial to adventuring life. After a handful of minor successes on his own, Laril was approached by a small band of dungeon delvers who were impressed with his deeds. They asked if he would like to join them as they hunted for treasures hidden in crypts beneath the earth, and Laril was happy to accept. Adventuring life was dangerous, and he’d been hoping to find some companions to mitigate some of that danger.

The group traveled together for several months, and their excursions were largely profitable. Laril took pleasure in the excitement of the hunt. The fact that he’d recovered more gold to than anyone in his village had ever seen before didn’t hurt either. Yet his discontentment remained. Even in the life he’d made for himself, he felt out of place.

About a year after joining the group, Laril and his companions were exploring a particularly dank cavern. They’d slain the troll who lived there, and were beginning to worry that the treasure the beast had supposedly hoarded was fake. It took them nearly an hour to find the chest, modestly sized, hidden under a pile of rocks. Its contents were hardly worth their trouble. A measly few bags of silver coins, a pair of jewels, and a jade-studded leather belt with a silver buckle. Everyone agreed the belt must be the greatest prize, and they rolled bones to see who would get it.

Laril won, and immediately began putting the belt on while his companions set about dividing the rest of the loot between themselves. He was surprised by how comfortable it felt. In fact it affected his comfort much more than he would have imagined a belt could. He began to comment to his companions that the belt seemed to be magical, only to have his thoughts interrupted by the sudden and hysterical laughter of his friends. He asked what was funny, and noticed that his voice sounded strange in his ears. Worried, he went to his pack and began to fumble around for the steel mirror he kept there. As he rummaged through his bag, he noticed something else:

He had breasts.

“It’s a belt of gender changing!” the group’s wizard called to him, having finally regained his breath. “A cursed item. You won’t be able to take it off without a spell ofRemove Curse.” Laril was silent for a long moment as he pondered this development. Despite a change which should have upset him, he still felt strangely…comfortable. More comfortable than she’d ever felt in her life. The nagging discontentment which had pestered her in otherwise quiet moments was nowhere to be found. She felt whole.

Laril remained silent for the moment, unsure of how to broach this issue with her fellows. But when the morning came and the wizard had prepared his spell, she knew she couldn’t go back. She refused to allow the Remove Curse spell to be cast upon her, stating that she was happier this way. The party was confused, and concluded that the belt must have additional magical properties they were unaware of–some manner of mind control. They took hold of her and held her in place while the wizard performed his spell. Laril protested, but the others were certain they were doing her a favor, and held fast.

The spell was completed, and the belt destroyed. Laril again found herself in a male body, once again disconcerted, once again less than whole. She was so overwhelmed by rage and loss that all she could do was sit and weep over the ruined remains of the belt that had changed her life. Her companions were concerned for her, and opted to remain another night without traveling, to allow her some time to work out whatever was wrong. The following morning, she informed them that she had come to two decisions.

The first was that she would no longer remain with them. Now that she’d found what she’d been looking for, she intended to waste no time in figuring out how to get it back.

“And the second thing?” they asked.

“My name is Laura.” she answered. Then left.

Laura Kraul (CR 5)

XP: 1,600
Female Human Fighter 6
LG humanoid
Init +8; Senses Perception -1


Defenses


AC 20, Flat Footed 14, Touch 16 [10 + Dex(4) + Armor(5) + Dodge(1)]
hp 53 (6d10 + 24)
Fort +7 Ref +6 Will + 1


Offense


Speed 30ft
Melee Shocking Burst Longspear + 9 (1d8 + 3 + 1d6 Electricity/x3 + 2d10 Electricity)
Melee Net +10 (Causes the Entangled condition)(Ranged Touch Attack)(10ft)


Stats


Str 16 (+3) Dex 19 (+4) Con 14 (+2) Int 11 (+1) Wis 9 (-1) Cha 13 (+1)
Base Atk +6/1; CMB +9; CMD 23
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (Spear), Weapon Specialization (Spear), Dodge, Weapon Focus(Net), Quick Draw, Lunge, Toughness
Skills Craft (Boatswain)(+11), Knowledge (Engineering)(+11), Ride (+10), Survival (+5)
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ
–Lunge: Can increase the reach of your melee attacks by 5ft in exchange for a -2 AC penalty.
Gear Slick Lightly Fortified Hide Armor; Mithril Shocking Burst Longspear; 3 Silk Nets; Backpack; 842 GP, Dagger, Bedroll, 10′ pole, steel mirror, 3 weeks rations, 1 lantern, 3 flasks of lantern oil, small jar of salt, fishing line, 3 hooks.

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7 thoughts on “Colorful Characters 18: Laura Kraul”

  1. This is awesome. Thank you for writing it.

    It’s fun to know that I’m not the only DM out there who has considered the potential benefits and alternative market for said cursed items.

    1. I’m glad you like it! I didn’t have as much time to write it as I would have liked. The story actually ended much sooner than I was originally planning, but I like how it came out.

  2. I always love your characters though I have to ask… shouldn’t it be a +1 shocking burst? Or have you house ruled it?

    Either way I love this character. Good Job and thank you for creating her.

    RogueMG

    1. Really glad to hear somebody always loves my characters. Friday’s Character/Item/Monster/Location posts consistently get no or very few comments. I guess they’re just not really ‘discussion starters,’ but without feedback I often wonder if I’m just being self indulgent.

      Regarding the weapon…you’re right. Magic weapons with any special ability must be at least +1. And while ignoring that rule isn’t a house rule that I’ve firmly established in my games or on this site, I think I’ll run with it. Numerical weapon bonuses are boring. (Though, I suppose, necessary to keep up with rising AC as you level).

      1. If it helps I have used a couple of your NPCs though one I slightly modified.

        When it comess to magical items I have it to where when my players find a magic weapon/armor it just has a numerical bonus that they can transform into any weapon property they want or can keep a numerical bonus. I make it to where they just have to supply the catalyst for it to change into a different property. It really help players make weapons easier… and makes treasures easier.

        1. Aw, that’s awesome. I figured anybody who used them would want to modify them anyway. If nothing else, the specific locations I reference probably don’t exist in other people’s game worlds.

          That’s a pretty clever way to handle magic weapons, but I don’t think I’d use it myself. All the magic items in my games are either carefully crafted by me, or rolled randomly.

  3. Truthfully most of them only need a town name changed or even a slightly different town description.

    I never liked randomly rolling ever since I couldn’t actually give to my party. I mean why would a martial class based party (cleric was using the crusader archetype) need 4 metamagic rods?

    That said I Either craft it myself, give them an item I think they will use, or will give them a flat numerical bonus that they can modify into the weapon they want. Such as a +5 (+5) longsword. It counts as a +5 longsword but has the magic within it to be transformed into any weapon they see fit. Just add spells. I have even made it to where they can use the spells/energy based attack they are hit with to add a property to the weapon.

    RogueMG

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