Colorful Characters 25: Sestronatara

“Cleopatra” by John William Waterhouse.
“Cleopatra” by John William Waterhouse.

NOTE: If you participate in my monthly ToKiMo Pathfinder campaign, I advise you against reading this post. It will be much more fun for you to encounter this information through play, than it will be fore you to read it here.

Six hundred years ago, she lived a peasant’s life, and knew herself by a peasant’s name. A name which does not matter, and which she has long since forgotten. Sestronatara was born from that peasant she once was, when her mistress drained her of human weakness and gifted to her a new existence as a fledgeling vampire. In that existence she has served her mistress, as fledgelings do. As she aged she grew in power, and independence. When she had been in her mistress service for roughly a century, she was given a task:

Travel to the Castle Nalew, ancient sanctum of the mad god who one walked the earth. There, locate the Blade of Boleshi, which the mad god crafted from the carapace of the mother of spiders. Retrieve it, and return.

Dutifully, Sestronatara crossed the oceans and deserts of the world, and entered the dread god’s labyrinth to begin her search. She wandered the dungeon’s halls, slaying or enslaving all she met there. Shortly after she arrived, she encountered a paladin; a dwarf named Elzhemer. He also sought the Blade of Boleshi, determined to destroy such an evil artifact. The two fought to a stalemate before retreating to continue their search with a renewed sense of urgency.

For thirty years the two searched, and fought, neither gaining the upper hand. Sestronatara became impatient, and plotted to end her game with the infuriating Elzhemer. In their next encounter, she ‘lost’ her journal while fleeing from her foe. Within, he found every note she’d made for 30 years, and combining her knowledge with his, he knew precisely where to find the long-sought blade.

But unbeknownst to the righteous Elzhemer, his nemesis had disguised herself as a spider on the ceiling. She followed his every step, through hundreds of rooms and countless deadly traps, until the two reached their prize. Before Elzhemer could move to claim the cursed blade, Sestronatara let fall her disguise and made to kill the dwarf. For a day, sparks from clashing weapons were the chamber’s only light, and howls of rage and pain were its only sound. When all seemed lost for him, Elzhemer smashed a glass vial of holy water against the vampire’s head, burning away her skin and hair, leaving her head forever bald. But Sestronatara recovered, and proved victorious. With the Blade of Boleshi, she cut her foe’s hands away, then chained him so she could drag the meat to her mistress.

But when Sestronatara reached the entrance of the dungeon, she found she could not leave. In the 30 years the two had been here, a group of powerful wizards and clerics had banded together and sealed Castle Nalew against any entrance or exit. The vampiress raged and beat against the barrier, but could not escape. And in her 30 years of exploration, she had never discovered another pathway out. The pair were trapped.

Five hundred years have passed since then. Sestronatara has claimed a small wing of Nalew for herself, and filled it with her own fledgelings and slaves. To occupy herself, she collects what objects of beauty can be found in the dungeon, and will offer a good price for any art piece. She has grown powerful, and independent. No longer does she wish to serve the mistress who created her–though she still keeps the Blade of Boleshi hidden away. She cannot disobey her mistress’ final command.

In her chambers, beard grey with age, the handless Elzhemer remains chained. A pedestal has been placed just out of his arm’s reach, and upon it is a hammer and wooden stake he could never hope to use without hands. The paladin’s anguish soothes her.

Sestonatara (CR 8)

XP: 4,800
Female Human Vampire, Sorceress 6
NE Undaed
Init +9; Senses Perception +14, Darkvision (60ft)


Defenses


AC 23, Flat Footed 17, Touch 17 [10 + Dex(6) + Natural(6) + Dodge(1)]
hp 67 (6d8 + 36)
Fast Healing 5
Fort +3 (Immune unless effect can target objects, or is harmless) Ref +8 Will +6
DR 15/Magic & Silver
Resist Fire 20, Channel 4, Cold 15, Electricity 10
Immunities Mind affecting effects, Bleed, Death effects, Disease, Paralysis, Poison, Sleep effects, Stunning, Nonlethal Damage, Ability Drain, Energy Drain, Physical Ability Score Damage, Exhaustion, Fatigue effects, Death from massive damage, effects which require a fortitude save


Offense


Speed 30ft
Melee Staff + 8 (1d4 + 5, 20/x2)(Reflex save DC: 11 v. being knocked flat)
Melee Slam +6 (1d4 + 3, 20/x2)(Magic Weapon)(Energy Drain)
Sorcerer Spells (CL 6th; Concentration +11; +2 save DC for Evocation spells)
3rd (4/day) — Lightning Bolt
2nd (7/day) — False Life, Scorching Ray, Shatter
1st (6/day) — Chill Touch, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Mage Armor, True Strike
0 (at will) — Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Blood, Message, Daze
Bloodline Undead
Bloodline Arcana Corporeal undead are susceptible to your mind-affecting spells.
Bloodline Powers
Grave Touch — Able to summon a familiar.
Death’s Gift — Resist cold 5, and DR 5/Magic & Silver


Stats


Str 16 (+3) Dex 20 (+5) Con — (–) Int 13 (+1) Wis 6 (-2) Cha 21 (+5)
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 21
Feats Iron Will, Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), Dominate Focus (+1 Dominate DC), Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Eschew Materials,
Skills Perception(+12), Spellcraft (+10), Use Magic Device (+14),
Languages Common, The Gravespeech, Draconic, Goblin
SQ
–Blood Drain: If an opponent is pinned, may deal 1d4 Con damage per round. Gains +5 HP (or +5 temporary HP) for each round blood is drained.
Children of the Night: 1/day, summon 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or 2d6 wolves as a standard action. Creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds, and remain for 1 hour.
–Create Spawn: Creatures slain by blood drain or energy drain rise as subservient vampires within 1d4 days.
–Dominate: Target must succeed on a will save (DC 19) or fall under the effects of a Dominate spell.
–Energy Drain: Creatures hit by slam attacks gain two negative levels.
–Change Shape: May assume the form of a dire bat or wolf, as Beast Shape II
–Gaseous Form:
As a standard action, or upon reaching 0 HP, the vampire can assume Gaseous Form indefinitely. Has a fly speed of 20ft with perfect maneuverability.
–Shadowless: Casts no shadows, nor is he reflected in a mirror
–Spider Climb: May climb surfaces as though under the effects of the Spider Climb spell.
–Combat Reflexes: May make up to 5 attacks of opportunity per round. Even while flat footed.

Weaknesses
–Aversion: Cannot tolerate the strong odor of garlic, mirrors, nor strongly presented holy symbols. Must succeed on a DC 25 will save each round, or stay at least 5ft away from these objects.
Entrance: Cannot enter any private home or dwelling unless invited by someone with the authority to do so.
–Sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight causes the staggered condition in the first round, and utter destruction in the second round.
–Running Water: Being submerged in running water deals damage equal to 1/3rd of max hit points per round. Upon reaching 0HP, the character cannot escape using gaseous form as normal.
–Wooden Stake: If a wooden stake is driven through the heart while Sestronatara is helpless, she is instantly slain. However, if the stake is ever removed, she returns to life unless her head is also severed and burned.

Gear Staff of Impact (+2, Knockdown), Key Ring (Opens her secret treasure room), Wand of Fireball (8 charges), Close-Call-Cloak (+1 to all saves)

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2 thoughts on “Colorful Characters 25: Sestronatara”

  1. The character background is a powerful one and I find the story far more compelling than the stat block, which isn’t always the case. It seems though that Sestonatara would have an incredible advantage in a battle of attrition by the sheer number of at will abilities. It’s hard for me to reconcile her taking thirty years to overcome the paladin even if he were significantly more powerful.

    I was total thrown off when I saw your character Limenent mentioned in the weaknesses section.

    1. Whoopsie-doodle! I always copy-paste an old character to use as a template (saves time with bolding/text formatting) and since Limenent is also a vampire, I figured I could save some more time by copying her’s. Guess I didn’t proof it sufficiently, though!

      I really appreciate your comment. It always means a lot to know that somebody enjoyed something I’ve written, and that goes doubly-so for these fiction-ish posts, which don’t usually get comments.

      I think Elzhemer was probably super badass in his day. High level, spec’d for hunting undead, magic items all over the place, that sort of thing.

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