Shvael is an NPC, kinda. He’s the protagonist in the story I created Diervale, Alfoli, and Reigzen for in the first place. The novela is still in the outline stages, which means Shvael is still in Diervale. Here’s his background up until the beginning of that novela: “Process of Elimination.”
Shvael was a street urchin in Altiera. He didn’t take well to begging, but he was a fair thief, swiping food and money to survive. He was good at reading people, had good instincts, and kept his eyes open. Soon, he knew the city better than anyone.
One day, he stole a book of scripture from priests of Lyseria in an upper city tavern. He had learned to read and devoured the tales in the book. Though the ideals of heroism did not stick with him, he did admire the powerful items he’d read about. He began to desire magical items. His thefts became more ambitious, not just feeding himself, but building wealth to buy equipment or stealing it.
Shvael’s reputation grew. Soon he was on the wrong side of the thieves guild. They proved unable to keep up with him or retrieve his stolen goods. Bitter, they turned information over to the police in Altiera. Shvael’s only chance was to escape to Diervale, City of Refuge. The countryside was new to him, but soon he was safe in Diervale.
In Diervale, his ambitions remained uncurbed. Unwilling to accept a position in a gang as a common cutpurse, he again worked alone. He befriended certain of the beggar informants on the streets and found his own bolthole in the underground. He gained skill and magical equipment, and soon he was well known among the crime gangs. He was highly sought after as something of an independent contractor, mostly for high level assassinations, either of gang leaders or government officials outside the city.
Strength: 15, Constitution: 17, Dexterity: 27,
Wisdom: 10, Intelligence: 19, Charisma: 12
Abilities: Parry Mastery VI, Backstab III, Infiltrator’s Intuition III, Climb V, Direction Sense III, Double Jump III, Jump IV, Sense Magic III, Pick Lock II, Arcane Knowledge I, Pick Pocket II, Sense Alignment I, Hide I
Skills: Stealth X, Perception III
Shvael is a fairly defensive fighter. His heaviest concentration of major abilities is on parrying and he has a 90% chance of knocking down a projectile right-handed, at least on the first and second one. He doesn’t really take much penalty until the fourth parry. Left handed he’s got a better than 60% chance of knocking it down. In melee combat he can parry extremely effectively against multiple foes.
But mostly he has no intention of getting into a straight head-to-head fight. He’s a sneaky murderer. He’s almost undetectable when sneaking. As long as he’s trying to be stealthy he can hide from most casual observers in broad daylight, even without his magical stealth tunic.
He can also get around wherever he wants. He’s got an incredible broad jump and vertical jump, and he can Jackie Chan it off up to 3 walls. In short, he can quickly scale 2 story buildings with a good corner just by jumping. He can climb taller buildings at a steady, but safe, place, even handling overhangs well most of the time.
Since he can get just about anywhere unnoticed, his chances of getting in position for a backstab are good. He’s almost certain to hit with a backstab using either hand. His right-handed backstabs are as likely as not to get critical hits and his left-handed backstabs have a decent chance too. With a successful backstab using daggers, he gets a 4.6 multiplier before the critical multiplier, so his damage ranges from 4.6 to 55.2, with a basically uniform distribution, this averages to about 30 damage.
Would you play a character like this? What do you like about him? Any changes you’d make? Let us know in the comments below.