Colorful Characters 20: Melina Ayvon, The Apothocary

"Circe," by John William Waterhouse. A bored young woman examinging a spellbook at a table in a red dress.
“Circe” by John William Waterhouse.

Melina Ayvon’s goal in life was to coast by as easily as she could. That’s why she applied to the wizard’s academy in the first place. She thought  if she could control the fabric of the universe, everything else would be child’s play. She never anticipated quite how many long hours and sleepless nights were required to master even the most basic cantrips. To Melina’s credit, she wasn’t stupid. She managed to avoid much of the work expected of her for a time, skirting along at the bottom of her class. That couldn’t last forever, though, and before she’d finished her second year at the academy, she was expelled. She cursed the wizard’s college for spurning her, accusing the ruling council of elitism and bias against their slower-learning students.

One of the wizards of the college, an archmage named Edilon, felt sympathy for her. He’d seen her potential, and had felt for some time that the academy’s headmasters were becoming too elitist–though he could not know then that her claim was a selfish one born of humiliation, rather than a reasoned critique. Edilon took his leave of the academy, and went to the young wizard. He offered to tutor her in the mystic arts, and without any better options before her, Melina readily agreed. Over the years they spent together, Edilon showed remarkable patience, and for her part Melina put forth a greater effort than she had in the past. Though she never accepted any responsibility for her expulsion from the wizard’s college, she none the less realized that Edilon was her last chance to learn the mystic arts.

But Melina never tried to change her own nature. She was an immature girl who could not recognize her own flaws, and found no great joy in the study of magic. Though she applied herself, her resolve in this matter was finite. Over time, Edilon came to understand that his pupil’s talent would never be able to compensate for her lack of drive. Still, he pushed her, hoping he could draw a passion for study out of her. His patience only came to an end when he discovered Melina attempting to deceive him. For months the two had worked, trying to teach her a somewhat complicated spellcasting technique. She became frustrated with the time spent on the subject, and attempted to fool her teacher by hiding a wand up her sleeve so she could cast the spell more easily. Furious, and disappointed, Edilon rescinded his offer of tutelage, and cast her out of his tower. As she indignantly stormed away, Melina convinced herself that the old man had wanted her to fail, and so put a problem before her which was too difficult for her to solve.

With nowhere to go, she traveled south from the city to settle in one of the smaller villagers. There the moderate magic she possessed would be prized and feared.

Melina tried to settle in several communities, and they were always happy to have her for a short while. As she had predicted, the villagers were eager to make use of even her limited magical abilities. But it never took long before she found herself unwelcome. Her brash demeanor and privileged attitudes did not engender friendship among the townspeople, and her increasingly exorbitant demands eventually always led to the town asking her to leave. And in the next town, she’d tell stories of the how the last village she’d visited did not appreciate her, and how it was filled with rubes too frightened of a little magic to realize what a benefit she could have been.

It only took a few years for Melina to run out of towns to live in. On the furthest reaches of civilization, she was surrounded by woodspeople and hunters. Gruff folk uninterested in her petty conceits about her own importance, but willing to let her live among them so long as she didn’t bother anyone. The once proud mage set herself up as an apothecary, dispensing herbs and elixirs to the townsfolk, and adventurers who passed through the area.

More than once, Melina tried to join those adventuring parties. Each time she’d board up her shop and brag about the riches she would find, but she’d always be back soon enough. She’d say the party had tried to rob her, or that they’d been incompetent, or didn’t know how to stand away from the spell she was casting. Occasionally she wouldn’t say anything about why she’d left, which was fine, because nobody really cared anyway. She soon gave up on adventuring as well, resigning herself to a life peddling cures for rashes and bald spots. It’s not the easy life she wanted, but it’s the one she got. Sometimes she waxes poetical about how the world has wronged her and how her potential isn’t being realized, but the words are beginning to sound hollow even to her.

Melina Ayvon (CR 1)
XP: 400
Female Human Wizard 2
CN humanoid
Init +2; Senses Perception -1


Defenses


AC 13, Flat Footed 10, Touch 13 [10 + Dex(2) ]
hp 10 (2d6 +4)
Fort +2 Ref +2 Will +2


Offense


Speed 30ft
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 2nd; Concentration + 5)(+1 Conjuration DCs)
1st– Mount, Summon Monster I, Unseen Servant
0 (at will)– Light, Touch of Fatigue, Mage Hand, Mending
Wizard Spellbook Melina’s spellbook doesn’t contain anything more than what is shown here. Learning more spells than she could prepare would be a waste of her time.
School Conjuration
Opposition Schools Enchantment, Abjuration
Conjurer Abilities
Summoner’s Charm (Su)— Whenever you cast a summoning spell, increase the duration by a number of rounds equal to half of your wizard class level.
Acid Dart(Sp):— 6/day, As a standard action you can unleash an acid dart targeting any foe within 30ft as a ranged touch attack. The dart deals 1d6 + 1 damage. Ignores Spell Resistance.
Arcane Bond: A pair of wings crafted from gold with a sapphire between them, mounted on a golden chain and worn about the neck.


Stats


Str 12 (+1) Dex 14 (+2) Con 15 (+2) Int 16 (+3) Wis 08 (-1) Cha 07 (-2)
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Scribe Scroll, Heighten Spell, Spell Focus(Conjuration)
Skills Bluff (+0), Craft(Alchecmy)(+8), Knowledge(Nobility)(+8), Knowledge(Nature)(+8), Spellcraft (+8)
Languages Common
Gear Fancy Red Robes, 4 ornate golden rings, 230 gold.

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2 thoughts on “Colorful Characters 20: Melina Ayvon, The Apothocary”

  1. Oh wow. Holy shit. This NPC’s background is the story of my life. I can’t use it in a campaign, the other players would think I added myself as a GMPC ! O___o

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