Gaiscioch Second Darkness
Like many of the city’s tieflings, Lil grew up an orphan in Riddleport. She earned her coin by telling stories on street corners, where her fantastical tales garnered just enough copper for a bite to eat. Although a gifted storyteller, Lil’s exotic good looks drew more attention than her tales, and soon a local pimp forced her into his flock. As she matured, Lil’s sultry purple eyes and her love for flowers earned her the nickname “Lavender.” Her talent for storytelling matured alongside her looks, and rumors circulated that her grandfather was Varisian and her grandmother was a devil-woman. While Lil had no strenuous objections to working as a prostitute, she missed the freedom of life on the streets. Her dreams never grew grand enough to imagine life as a noble lady, a brave adventurer, or even a wife or mother. All Lil wanted was the freedom to claim her own life and to manage it, for ill or good.
After 2 years working as a prostitute, Lil realized she was changing in ways she’d never anticipated. She woke with energy seeming to crackle in her mind. The stories she told the other prostitutes carried more weight than usual—sometimes enough to influence thought and behavior. Lil hid these developments, practicing in secret until she better understood her power. When she felt she’d mastered her new abilities, she used them to distract her pimp and escape from his employ.
A brief war ensued between Lil and her old master, who sought to recapture and punish her as an example to the other workers. Yet Lil had planned her escape well, though, and after several unsuccessful assaults, her former pimp finally found himself in the water with a particularly foul-tempered bunyip. After watching the vile man be eaten by the creature, Lil was her own mistress once again. For the next few years, Lil continued to work as an independent prostitute. Several other women of her occupation used her as an inspiration and broke free of their own shackles. Some tried to follow her, only to find themselves gently but firmly rebuffed. Lil had no desire to lead or to follow. She wished only to be left alone to conduct her business.
Her independence, her beauty, and her talent left her with no dearth of clients, and the level-headed way in which she conducted business left her living in comfort with a tidy sum hidden away for emergencies. At the beginning of her independent career, Lil purchased several love potions to ensure a core of faithful clients. She soon abandoned that strategy, though, when she found ensorcelled lovers too difficult and time consuming to manage. She did, however, forge a lasting relationship with Falk Zincher, the alchemist who provided the potions. Lil used an array of poisons and potions to ensure her security, and Falk acted as a supplier and confidante.
Recently, one of Lil’s new clients, a mercenary named Orik Vancaskerkin, fell under the charming tiefling’s influence and grew madly infatuated with her. Desperate to break through Lil’s businesslike reserve and into her heart, Orik sought out an alchemist to brew him a love potion. As luck had it, he found his way to Falk Zincher. Falk quickly intuited the target of Orik’s affections from the man’s lovesick ramblings, and he substituted some cheap ale laced with lavender for a true love potion. Orik returned to Lil’s boudoir and slipped the “potion” into her drink. Lil noticed the scent of lavender in her cup and Orik’s hungry stare, and deduced that Falk was somehow involved; the alchemist often scented her purchases with lavender as a subtle tribute to their friendship. She acted the part of an infatuated paramour with Orik long enough to satisfy him, then promised to meet him the next night and sent him on his way. After a brief consultation with Falk, Lil decided to play her lovestruck role long enough to make it worth her while, and to punish Orik for trying such a trick.
For a week, Lil carried on her false romance with Orik, and through subtle questions and bardic trickery, she learned the location of Orik’s savings. While Lil entertained Orik in her bedroom, Falk broke into Orik’s lodgings and robbed him blind. When Orik returned home and discovered the theft, he let out a yell loud enough to wake the entire building. He rushed back to Lil’s but found her door locked and bearing a note from Lil ordering him to leave her alone. Unable to retaliate against Lil (despite her role in the treachery, he couldn’t bring himself to hurt her), Orik instead turned his rage on Falk. He confronted the alchemist, words came to blows, and before he realized what had happened, Falk lay dead on the floor of his own shop. Orik panicked, knowing that Falk was the brother of a powerful local crimelord, Clegg Zincher, and he fled Riddleport without even taking the time to reclaim his money. When news of Falk’s murder reached Clegg’s ears, the elder Zincher flew into a rage. He turned all his resources to tracking down those responsible for the crime, and when he hit a dead end with Orik, he turned his anger against Orik’s father, Saul Vancaskerkin, and against the woman he felt was responsible for the whole situation—Lil.